I have known Robert Silva since we were young teens. To say that Robert is an INCREDIBLE MAN is an understatement. Having had the honor of knowing him all these years has enriched my life tremendously.
Robert is the type of man who gives of himself to help others and forgets about himself in the process. Yes he has run the “RACE” and has served the people and town of Marfa above and beyond the call of duty.
One can only wait and see if the next in line will go the extra mile and step up to the plate and be able to fill Robert’s shoes. Integrity, Focused, Knowledge, Experience and his Love for the town and people of Marfa are some of the ingredients that make Robert Earl Silva the man that he became.
Now my wish is that the Lord grant Robert the time he needs to fulfill his vision and his passion in life. May he continue to pour out his Love to the Children & Grand Children who will carry on his Legacy. Yes, his heart is as BIG as TEXAS and his smile is one that will melt your heart.
Robert, having known you has Blessed me Beyond. Best of Life to you always!!!
Your Friend Always,
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I commend The Big Bend Sentinel for it’s continued reporting into the environmental, social and economic impact on our region by Rio Grande Mining Corporation (RGMC), and Aurcana, its parent corporation in Canada. Though I am now spending most of my time outside of Presidio County there was a period over a year ago when as a freelance documentary filmmaker I provided footage and photography to the Aurcana website in an effort to engage RGMC in a collaborative community education and awareness effort. Lenic Rodriguez, various members of his managerial staff in Shafter and my small film team, discussed a media based approach to the day-to-day operations of the silver mine that was as practical as it was transparent. Time lapse footage of the mine’s operations and development as well as photography would be used on the website both to demonstrate progress for those interested in investing and those, like me, who were interested in the environmental and economic impact on the region. Since I never hid my intention to make a documentary film on the history of mining in Shafter, RGMC considered the prospect of a museum of mining history in Shafter, much the same as one that exists in Zacatecas, MX. It would be at the very least a considerate gesture towards the community trust and our children’s future.
What I discovered over time and in interaction with various staff members is that anything having to do with the community was considered threatening, even something as mundane as a small collection of mining artifacts in one of their abandoned adobe buildings on route 67 south. When it became obvious that questions about waste water and other environmental concerns outweighed any kind of support people in Presidio and Brewster counties might have for such a large influx of local employment opportunities, I strongly suggest organizing a series of community meetings, introducing Lenic Rodriguez and RGMC management, showing an edited video on work to date, and fielding questions from the crowd. I was released from my media obligations less than a week later and have committed myself to becoming a watch dog over daily operations at the mine. I encourage others with information to share to contact me by email, email@example.com. Your identity will remain confidential.
Perhaps Aurcana Corporation of Canada underestimated the West Texas passion for the land and preservation for resources. Maybe they equated the low tax base and current political leadership of Texas to use of what’s most precious beneath our feet and in the Chinati mountain range. Based on what I have already encountered of the disregard management has towards the community at large, I would encourage every one in the tri-county area to become involved in querying Aurcana and RGMC. The more that can be promulgated on line and in the media, the better. I know for a fact that Rodriguez does not want to upset an already apprehensive set of investors in his silver extraction operations. Thank you Big Bend Sentinel for getting me back involved.
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Last week Joe Cole of Weatheford wrote a letter which overall affirmed the Sentinel as a good weekly newspaper even though he differs from the views expressed in it. So I have no quarrel with his opinions generally though I doubt we agree on much of anything, but specifically I was angered by his referring to Gary Oliver as having no talent and his cartoons often name-calling lies. Obviously I disagree.
What Cole calls name-calling lies I call the blunt truth. Well, we can disagree on that I guess. But to asserting Oliver has no talent is beyond belief. I will, however, at least thank Cole for his petty view as it reminds me how I have taken for granted the skill and talent of Oliver’s drawings. We have taken him for granted week after week and looked forward to the cartoon over the last 18 years. My husband and I often say to each other, “Have you read Gary’s cartoon this week? It is really great,” and then we both smile as we remember.
The originality and the strength of his drawing are right there with the best cartoonists. His distinctive, masterful style is compelling.
Sometime during the last year I saw a show at the University of Texas at the Permian Basin that had 24 framed and large reproductions of some of his cartoons. It was very good to see them that way and I enjoyed reading and studying them again. I have seen other good showings of his works in art galleries. I have been fortunate enough to buy one of his cartoons framed and have it in our art collection. Thank you Gary for you talented, hard work and we look forward to seeing you each week in the future.
Finally, I want to thank Robert Halpern for a great newspaper. The range of his coverage from local to beyond and his commitment often to the environmental news and the Mexican news is much appreciated.
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There she goes again. Joan Neubauer employs a sneaky little tactic so familiar to partisan Republican pundits. Hopefully, most of you recognized it from her column last week. It goes like this. Take an unacceptable Republican political tactic, in this case playing the race card, or divide and conquer, and accuse the other side of doing that very same thing. Unfortunately, this kind of reverse accusation can actually be effective, especially among white voters.
Trick them into thinking everybody else is against them, get them angry and scared, and get them to vote for the party (Republican) that will supposedly protect them from the hordes. The true fact is that President Obama has preached inclusion and tolerance for all races, ethnic backgrounds and gender passionately and steadfastly from the moment he took office.
It is ludicrous and incomprehensible to think the party that most embraces tolerance and inclusion would employ a divide and conquer philosophy. It just ain’t true folks.
Joan Neubauer closes by admonishing Americans to think very hard about their vote. There’s that tactic again. She accuses Democrats of painting Republicans as a bunch of backwoods Yahoos, then admonishes us ignorant voters on the forthcoming apocalypse should we be foolish enough to vote Democratic. I am telling you right now that I am not falling for it. I choose tolerance and inclusion and I hope you do as well.
Story filed under: West Texas Talk