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

Archive for May 7th, 2009

NPT: Border childrens’ health report card

Representatives statewide non-profit group Center for Public Policy Priorities will be in El Paso on May 7 to present their findings from their report titled “Texas KIDS COUNT: Our Border, Our Future.”

The report detailed the health conditions of children living in border counties, which the report estimated at more than 6.4 million, a nine percent population growth from 2000 to 2007. The report also states that 94% of children are American by birthright or naturalization, regardless of their parents’ status.

The statistics represent what report author Dr. Frances Deviney called a “mixed bag.” “Even though based on data we have seen an improvement on the poverty level [in the border counties], have the worst poverty level in the state,” she said.

The basis of the report came from visits to border communities in which they compiled the information requested from various organizations from cities including El Paso, McAllen, and Brownsville. During the year-long process in which the report was created, the Deviney credits La Fe clinic and the Texas A&M campus in McAllen for helping with data collection.

They found that while the infant mortality rates and the number of mothers who smoke were lower on the border than in counties elsewhere in the state, mothers on the border were also less likely to receive early prenatal care. “There are real positives, but there are some structural negatives,” said Deviney.

Elizabeth Ruiz

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 7, 2009 at 2:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Whole delegation on board with ethics bill now

Today, state Reps Joe Pickett and Norma Chavez became the last members of the El Paso delegation to sign onto the newly revised ethics bill. If passed out of the House it will have to need to go to the Senate again, as the version that Shapleigh passed over there was the unamended version.

Primary Author/Date filed: Marquez 03/03/2009

Joint Authors/ Date signed on: Quintanilla 03/31/2009, Moody 05/04/2009, Chavez 05/06/2009, Pickett 05/06/2009

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 7, 2009 at 11:34 am

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Bill passes Senate expanding affordable healthcare

SB 841 passed the Senate yesterday which would expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program  (CHIP) to more families.

According to the Austin American Statesman, “families earning between the current income limit ($44,100 for a family of four) and a certain ceiling ($66,150 for a family of four) would pay monthly premiums on a sliding scale according to their income. For example, a family of four would pay $88 to $120 a month.”

The legilsation was co-authored by El Paso Senator Eliot Shapleigh.

“Insuring more Texas children in CHIP will make for healthier children, and save us
money over time,” Senator Shapleigh said. “What is a better investment than that?”

Read the rest of the press release after the jump.

–Ben Wright Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 7, 2009 at 11:21 am

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT City: Gracie Cain’s mid-campaign makeover

Northeast city council candidate Gracie Cain is very young, she’s of the internet generation that knows all images on the web are public access. Early in her campaign, political watchdog and NPT contributor Jaime Abeytia dug up photos of Cain from a photographer’s website (that no longer works) and didn’t publish them. But he was kind enough to notify Cain that he found the images, and in return she gave him several images from her Patriot Days to use. Luckily for Cain, most voters only saw the mansuit images of her posted here. But, since I took the time to mention Carlos Rivera’s mid-campaign makeover, I thought I should do the same for Cain. I think if she wins the Northeast seat, she should rock the cowgirl hat at city council meetings.Lisa Degliantoni

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 7, 2009 at 10:57 am

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT City: Bad property valuation? It’s not our fault!

News release from the city of El Paso:

City Assists in Clarifying Property Valuation Information

El Paso, Texas – May 7, 2009 – The Central Appraisal District recently sent out property valuations to property owners in El Paso County. These are not tax bills. Property values are set by the El Paso Central Appraisal District which is required by the State of Texas to set values as close to 100% of market value as possible. If a property owner disagrees with the value assigned to their property, their recourse is to file a protest with the El Paso Central Appraisal District. It is the only political entity with authority to adjust property values.

The El Paso City Council has no authority to establish the value of any property in the city – neither do any of the other El Paso County Taxing Entities.

Please note that on these property valuation notices that the taxes indicated represent an estimate only, as required by State law. Actual tax rates have not yet been adopted. Once each of the El Paso County Taxing Entities sets a tax rate for the coming fiscal year – this will begin the process of calculating actual property taxes owed. Actual property tax bills will go out in October.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 7, 2009 at 10:43 am

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT City: House party at Emma’s place!

Another political party:

You Are Cordially Invited
Please be my special guest on Saturday, May 9th from 7 – 11 p.m. to Watch the Election Results!
Join us for a nice time, a nice dinner, good friends, and a great celebration!
Remember the address, 8904 WH Burges (my Home)!
Bring a Friend…See you on Saturday Nite!
Don’t Forget to Vote!
Join me and all my Volunteers for the Election Night Results Party and Celebration!

Respectfully, Emma Acosta
City Representative
District 3

8904 WH Burges
(about 7 blocks North of Cielo Vista Mall, off of Hawkins)

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 7, 2009 at 10:32 am

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Ring Ring. Who’s there? Eliot Shapleigh.

Ever talked to a Senator on the phone before? I have, but then you would expect that from a journalist.

On Monday though, it’s your chance to speak to one. State Sen. Eliot Shapleigh is hosting a “tele-town hall meeting” on the subject of what he believes to be the ten most important bills working their way through the system in Austin right now.

Read the press release after the jump.

–Ben Wright Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 7, 2009 at 9:48 am

Posted in Uncategorized