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

Archive for May 8th, 2009

NPT Biz: Big transportation

The Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority just announced its website, which can be found here.

One of the best features is the meetings button, which has archived meetings as well as live streaming.

What is the CRRMA? Silly rabbit, you should know this. Here’s some background.

You might also check this story, Council OKs tax zone to raise $70 million for $1 billion transportation plan, but $322 million local share goes unsaid.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 8, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT City: PSB readying for voters’ verdict

Executive session item on the Public Service Board agenda for this Wednesday’s meeting:

Consultation with Attorney (Section 551.071)
The Public Service Board will deliberate and seek the advice of General Counsel regarding the legal impact on the Utility of the Stormwater initiative ordinance adoption or denial.

The meeting is at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Public Service Board Meeting Room, 1154 Hawkins Boulevard. See the agenda link.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 8, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT DC: Reyes’ take on Obama budget

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


Fort Bliss would receive over a quarter-billion for new construction projects, new Tornillo-Guadalupe Port of Entry in Mission Valley would receive over $91 million for inspection facilities
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) today released the following statement on President Barack Obama’s 2010 budget proposal.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 8, 2009 at 4:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT: Political surgery

Another dumb political joke we just had to share, as the timing seems appropriate. If you like, take out “politician” and insert “journalist.”

Five surgeons from big cities are discussing who makes the Best patients to operate on.The first surgeon, from New York , says, ‘I like to see accountants on my operating table because when you open them up, everything inside is numbered.’

The second, from Chicago, responds, ‘Yeah, but you should try electricians! Everything inside them is color coded.’

The third surgeon, from Dallas, says, ‘No, I really think librarians are the best, everything inside them is in alphabetical order’

The fourth surgeon, from Los Angeles chimes in: ‘You know, I like construction workers…Those guys always understand when you have a few parts left over.

But the fifth surgeon, from Washington , DC shut them all up when he observed: ‘You’re all wrong. Politicians are the easiest to operate on.

There’s no guts, no heart, no balls, no brains ,and no spine. Plus, the head and the ass are interchangeable.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 8, 2009 at 1:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT: Them hungry still

News release from the West Texas Food Bank

New Report: Texas Has Highest Rate of Child Hunger; Area Legislators Push for State Response

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 8, 2009 at 1:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Ethics bill moving, and players are making civil. But not so fast.

On the surface, it appears that the county’s ethics bill is moving along. State Rep. Norma Chavez, who had some strong objections, sent a letter to state Rep. Brian McCall, R-Plano, who is chairman of the Calendars Committee, on which Chavez sits, asking that the bill be sent to the House floor.

State Rep. Marisa Marquez was carrying the legislation for El Paso, and apparently has taken some of Chavez’s suggestions regarding process. In Chavez’s letter to McCall, Chavez writes, “We have reviewed the changes Rep. Marquez has made and are satisfied with the legislation.” (See letter here:
5.7.09 Chavez to McCall)

Marquez, in turn, quickly sent a letter to the delegation. “Now that all the El Paso members have had ample time to review these changes … I will not be accepting any further amendments.” (see letter here: 5.7.09 Marquez to delegation)

So is this peace? Not quite yet. There is enough wiggle room in each letter to scuttle the bill. The final issue, and largely where the ethics bill first went off course, is how to handle discipline of Sheriff’s Department employees. While Marquez outlined three scenarios she said she’d write language around, the language itself has not been committed to by either party.

So Marquez has agreed in principle to assuage Chavez’s concerns, and Chavez has agreed in principle to support the bill. But until there’s final language from Marquez and an iron-clad, no-wiggle-room commitment is given by Chavez, well, not so fast. As well, there are statewide issues that could fracture the House and squash El Paso — particularly the Voter ID bill, which Democrats have made clear will touch off all-out war. Which means members start killing bills — for payback, to send a message, or for the hell of it, all things that happen in war. Nothing is safe.

As Chavez said today of the sheriff’s employees issue: “This section is not crystal clear. It could provoke a lawsuit.” And, she added: “Any bill behind the Senate Voter ID bill is dead in the House. That is my opinion. So the Ethics bill must be on a fast track. All the El Paso bills need to be on a fast track.”

Sito Negron

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 8, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Biz: $91 million for new Tornillo port? Talk about change.

How big will this be, and how much will it change the rural farm-based communities south and east of El Paso and Juarez? Here’s the news release sent late Thursday from the office of El Paso County Commissioner Willie Gandara:

Tornillo-Guadalupe International Port of Entry Funding Included in President Obama’s Budget

Today, President Obama released the details of his FY2010 budget. The President’s budget proposal is an outline, a recommendation to Congress as to how to spend our federal tax dollars. The Congress will debate and decide which programs and projects to fund and which to eliminate.

Included in the President’s budget is $91.565 million in construction funding for the Tornillo-Guadalupe federal inspection facilities. Our federal lobbyist team has worked hard with the previous Administration to secure the presidential permit for this port of entry and to secure $4.29 million in design funds for the federal inspection facilities. El Paso County federal lobbyist team have continued their work with the new Administration and are pleased that President Obama has included $91.565 million for this critical project

“We thank President Obama for including the Tornillo-Guadalupe International Port of Entry in the proposed FY2010 budget. I commend our federal lobbyist for their strong work ethic and commitment to El Paso County,” said Commissioner Gandara.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 8, 2009 at 10:54 am

Posted in Uncategorized