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Posts Tagged ‘el paso

NPT Capitol: Pickett explains the ins and outs of the stimulus package

pickettThe stimulus package is a funny thing. State Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso and chairman of the House Transportation committee gave me a little insight into how it works yesterday.

Regarding transportation, Texas will receive about $2.6bn. But it’s not like DC just cuts Texas a check. It cuts hundreds. Of the $2.6bn, $1.1bn goes straight to local Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPOs) through a complex formula funding rubric. The rest, in theory, goes to goes to TXDOT.

For El Paso this means about $21m in-pocket, since Governor Perry asked for the money last week. Sounds like a lot right? Let’s get boots on and shovels in the ground! This is supposed to be a “stimulus package” after all. Gosh, imagine what you could do with $21m…

Not a lot, would seem to be the answer….

–Ben Wright

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 25, 2009 at 10:29 am

NPT DC: Reyes comment on Obama speech

silverstrereyesNews release from U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes. For the transcript of Obama’s speech, click here.

“President Obama was very honest about the challenges our country is facing but reaffirmed that America will rise to the challenge and will emerge from this crisis a stronger nation. The road ahead will not be easy, as we are confronting one of the most serious financial crises in our nation’s history, but the President and the Congress are determined to lead our country in a new direction and will continue to advance an ambitious legislative agenda that will move America forward again.

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 25, 2009 at 10:22 am

NPT Capitol: Shapleigh: 10,000 have moved from Juarez to El Paso as Drug War pushes into U.S.

So far, 10,000 Mexican nationals have moved from Juarez to El Paso in order to escape the drug war, which is increasingly reaching up into America, said state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh this morning.

Shapleigh was speaking to the committee on Transportation and Homeland Security, a committee he sits on in the Texas Senate.

Shapleigh spoke about the resignation of the Juarez police chief earlier this month, after cartels threatened to kill one police officer every 48 hours. After his resignation, cartels put posters up along Juarez’s main highways declaring they would now kill the mayor within 48 hours. Shapleigh, citing press reports, said the mayor of Juarez has since moved to El Paso.

According to Shapleigh, in addition to the 10,000 Juarez residents living in El Paso, 140,000 Americans live in Juarez and 4,000 El Pasoans commute from north to South everyday.

Shapleigh called the situation “serious” and would require an “appropriate and measured response” from the state of Texas as the drug violence was beginning to reach right “up the transportation corridors” (I-10, I-35) to places like Phoenix and Atlanta. As such Shapleigh said the committee needed daily updates on the situation in Mexico. Shapleigh offered to prepare such a brief, providing clips from Mexican national dailies for his fellow committee members.

While Chairman John Carona did not ostensibly take Shapleigh up on the offer, or admit the graveness of the situation, he praised Shapleigh as the Senate’s “expert on these issues.”

Shapleigh’s remarks were the last thing discussed by the committee before it adjourned.

–Ben Wright

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 25, 2009 at 10:19 am

NPT Capitol: Moody probes McCraw over “spill-over” violence

moodyYesterday, state Rep. Joe Moody, who sits on the Border and International Affairs committee, probed Steve McCraw, director of Gov. Rick Perry’s Office of Homeland Security, over the reality of Mexican drug war violence spilling over into the U.S.
–Ben Wright

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 24, 2009 at 11:29 am

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NPT Capitol: New Poll could be good news for the Tiguas

According a new poll conducted on behalf of the pro-gambling PAC Texans for Economic Reform, a majority of Texans support slot machine gambling at Indian casinos and race tracks.

More interestingly for the Tiguas:

–Support is pretty bipartisan: Support ranges from 56% of conservative Republicans to 76% of moderate/liberal Democrats.

–75% of Texans polled think slot machine gambling is ok once informed about the perceived benefits of expanding gambling. (i.e. greater self sufficiency for tribes, job creation, how much Texans already spend gambling in border states etc)

–82% of Texans polled think that the issue should be decided by voters on the ballot (via constitutional amendment) rather than by politicians fiddling with the law in Austin.

Source: Baselice and Associates

–Ben Wright

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 23, 2009 at 11:19 am

NPT City: District 3: Say what? Vote what?

Quick note on District 3 race:

— City Rep. Emma Acosta said her challenger, the former representative Alexandro Lozano, told her that he would not run against her: “He went to my office a few months ago and he told me, ‘I don’t want you to be concerned, I’m not going to run against you, I’m going to run for mayor.’ I said ok, whatever, it’s your decision, right?”

— Lozano said he changed his mind. He said the meeting was right after she was elected, which was about a year ago: “In fact, I had to call her about three times to get an appointment. So finally I went to her office, and said you know what, I don’t think I’m going to run for City Council, don’t worry about it. But you know, things change. … the vote on legalizing drugs made me aware that something was wrong at City Council.”

Check back later here or on the NPT Home Page for more on the race.

Sito Negron

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 23, 2009 at 10:56 am

NPT: El Paso? Poor, but not cheap, comparatively speaking.

According to the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo, El Paso ranks near the bottom of cities in the U.S. for home affordability. According to their survey, El Paso median income and home prices went from $38,600 and $117,000, respectively in 2005, to $37,200 and $131,000 in the fourth quarter of 2008. By their measure, El Paso ranks as number 213 in the nation for affordability. Here’s the news release about the list. Here’s the explanation of how they arrive at the numbers: The NAHB/Wells Fargo HOI is a measure of the percentage of homes sold in a given area that are affordable to families earning that area’s median income during a specific quarter. Prices of new and existing homes sold are collected from actual court records by First American Real Estate Solutions, a marketing company. Mortgage financing conditions incorporate interest rates on fixed- and adjustable-rate loans reported by the Federal Housing Finance Board.

For the spreadsheet with the numbers, go here and click on the third item (“The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index: Complete History by Metropolitan Area (1991-Current”).

Sito Negron

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 23, 2009 at 10:46 am