Together we hosted Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Civil Rights Read-Off. We would like to express our sincere thanks to the 20 volunteer readers and many more listeners who gathered Monday on the Courthouse lawn to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other activists who worked tirelessly in pursuit of civil rights in the United States of America. Their words, read aloud by local citizens, reminded us as a community of the power of our collective voice and our ability to affect positive change. Together, we delivered five hours of historic speeches from the Courthouse steps, our words echoing down Highland Avenue.
Thank you Oscar Aguero, Alice Jennings, John Jennings, Alan Dickson, Chuck Loban, Gabriela Carballo, Elise Pepple, Rae Anna Hample, Robert Halpern, Robert Schmidt, Taylor Livingston, Laura Copelin, Allison Scott, Chelsea Rios, Rob Weiner and Sterry Butcher for reading.
Thank you to our elected officials – Marfa City Councilmen Peter Stanley and Mark Scott – for attending. Thank you to Fort Davis ISD for bringing a busload of Dirks-Anderson Elementary students to attend and hear the words of First Lady Michelle Obama, read by their Principal, Allison Scott. Thank you to the Chinati Foundation for providing folding chairs, Blackwell School Alliance for supplying water and Gory Smelley for donating sound equipment.
Many of us left the Courthouse inspired to work together to make Marfa a better place for everyone who lives here, in whatever way we are able. Whether you attended the event or not, we invite you to join us. Together, we are Marfa.
Ann Marie Nafziger
I would like to take this opportunity to CONGRATULATE my Aunt Alicia “Licha” Jimenez who officially retired on December 28, 2016 after 47 years of serving the community of Presidio, as an employee of the Presidio Neighborhood Center. It is great to see someone as deserving as her reach the next milestone in her life. She will always be remembered for her many accomplishments and her years of hard work and dedication. I hope that she is aware of how countless lives have been impacted through the knowledge that she has imparted.
I would like to add that retirement is not just leaving your job behind. It is embracing your future, so “Tia,” enjoy the best part of your life! May God continue to bless you with many more years.
My wife Lori and a female indigenous water protector who is a minor were forcibly removed from their peaceful lock-down on a pipe-laying machine last Saturday.
Apparently the sheriff’s office (pipeline security guards?) were in a hurry and had no patience to wait for the proper removal tools. Or perhaps the suits in Dallas have no respect for pipeline security guards (sheriff’s office?) who can’t stop people from protesting.
Both women were bruised. Lori was handcuffed and placed in leg irons as if three armed, 200-pound law enforcement agents feared some super-heroine reprisal.
Twelve hours later in the frosty holding tank, a male deputy entered the women’s pen, feigned a greeting, and then said with a smirk to Lori, “By the way, we’ve added a felony charge.” Nice guy.
The boss, Sheriff Danny Dominguez, has a nice contract with Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline company. He provides security for the pipeline. Evidently at 5:01pm M-F they turn into corporate protectors then at the end of the shift they turn back into people protectors. But of course the suits in Dallas probably pay more so in Saturday situations like this, what’s a law enforcement officer to do?
I, for one, suggest Danny Dominguez resign from being sheriff or realize that we, the people aren’t the enemy!
Two Rivers Camp
In a recent article in the San Antonio Express News, Midland/Odessa Transportation Alliance President James Beauchamp said that the “main end game” for the gas in the Trans-Pecos Pipeline is to export it out of the port of Topolobampo, Mexico to Asia and Pacific countries, which pay a higher cost for natural gas.
Alpine and adjacent communities and counties have been promised abundant tax revenue from the shipment of gas through the Trans-Pecos line, and we think our schools will share in that money. That may be good for our public students in the short run, but when they are older and our natural gas and oil resources are gone, they may ask why we did not think ahead seven generations as many in the Native American community try to do.
Many are critical of the efforts of those of us trying to stop the Trans-Pecos Pipeline. They say it is a done deal, and we are being foolishly idealistic and causing nothing but trouble. If being concerned about the quality of our air and water and trying to stop its degradation for the benefit of future generations is foolish and idealistic, I am still proud to be part of that effort.
The rest of you can limit your concerns to living high in the present and passing the cost on to future generations.
Global Golf is the investment group that is interested in leasing Marfa’s golf course. Their plan is to build another nine holes, remodel the old nine, add a new clubhouse, new maintenance barn, remodel the cart barn, lodging, etc.
They have been trying to negotiate this deal with the county for over a year and a half, and in the process spent an estimated $100,000 researching this project, including surveys, soil conditions, travel, hotels, water quality studies and so forth.
It would be safe to say at least a dozen or more presentations and meetings with the judge and the commissioners have been held. Each time the project was put on hold or delayed. To list all the reasons for delay would take a full-page article.
When the county hired a law firm from Austin to help negotiate, the process came to, and still is, at an almost standstill. But isn’t that what lawyers do? This attorney has advised the county to set some ridiculous requirements regarding a lease.
Two bids have been submitted for a lease and neither meets all requirements.
What the Austin attorney doesn’t understand and what the commissioners need to consider is this project would create 30 to 40 jobs, if not more; provide some much needed affordable housing for teachers, Border Patrol, whomever; an updated Vizcaino Park and more. The county would save the $160,000 annual budget for parks and golf course, and Marfa and the highest golf course in Texas would become another destination, much like Chinati is to the art world.
Something else: I’ve been in the golf course business since 1990 and I can tell you that our course is in desperate need of repair. It is around 65 years old and the irrigation system won’t last much longer. The greens are dying due to invasive tree roots, compaction, invasive species, etc. They need to be rebuilt. The county already sliced the maintenance budget in half this year to around $85,000, which includes two salaries. The county cannot afford to be in the golf course business and the opportunity to lease it is not going to come around very often if not at all.
Commissioners, please listen to those of us supporting the project and not some lawyer from Austin.
Those interested should attend the meeting on January 31, the time and place to be determined by the county.
A concerned citizen,
Big Bend-area residents heading for Odessa for medical or other reasons should know that there is now a coffee shop in downtown Odessa where you can get a decent cup of coffee and a tasty light meal.
This is the French Press Café, 511 North Grant Avenue, three doors along from Ye Old Bookworm bookshop.
Soups, quiches, paninis and baked goods for the sweet tooth are among the food choices. Crepes are in the offing. Drip or French press coffee, a full range of espresso coffees and a selection of teas are available. Cloth napkins and a bright décor add to the novelty of the experience. Hours of opening are Monday-Friday, 7am-6 pm, and Saturday 9am-1pm.
This is a mother-and-daughter enterprise, which arose from a visit to Paris. Located between the hospital and the courthouse, French Press Café may attract clients from both places. I had an interesting talk with a doctor during my visit and enjoyed the broccoli and cheese soup, followed by a strong French press coffee.
Now that Yana 615 has closed, there is no other place in downtown Odessa for a bite to eat that is a little bit different, and includes High Tea.
Phone is 432.307.6592 and web page is https://frenchpress.cafe.
I greatly enjoyed last week’s issue of the Sentinel, a most comprehensive coverage of the goings-on in our area.
The obituary page was unusually long and I knew some of those who passed and I was most surprised to hear about Paul Peña. I knew this precious young man and can only wonder how I did not know of his passing until now.
Living in small town is sometimes hard for me.
And, there is Hurd on the Hill. I hope that Rep. Will is not a regular in the Sentinel. But, I recall that Will trumped Trump on the front page of the Sentinel after all of the votes were in.
I especially loved Lonn Taylor’s column, Bridges, not walls.
And, I agree that the Trump wall should be built along Interstate 10. That way, I would no longer live in Texas with Abbott and Costello. I would live in Marfa, 79843.
Thank you for the coverage about the pipeline. I particularly appreciate all the protestors. But, the pye-dog trenches on gouging the beauty of the Chihuahuan Desert. He cares not a whit for it nor for we who call it home. The pye-dog is a mongrel. He does not love his neighbors. He loves himself.
I started to say something about the hotel tax and potholes but I see some work being done around town on our streets, for which I am very grateful.
Ken, thanks for reading us and – mostly – liking us. Like it or not, Will Hurd is our representative in Congress and he gets to be heard from Capitol Hill. And while he represents his Democrat constituents but mostly votes Republican, and defeated my lifelong friend and consummate public servant Pete Gallego for Congress, Will’s a pretty nice guy who has helped in some local issues, has parted with Trump on the border wall and was quick to admit, unlike the Donald, that the Russians hacked us. – the editor.
Re: Pipeline Protests;
Last week’s “Journey into Grasslands” by Pilar Petersen underscored the work of a remarkable woman who achieved a dream. Hard to imagine the then 40-year old Manhattan dweller, Ana Valer Clark, with no agricultural training or background, acquiring a badly eroded piece of desert land in the Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona, and turning it into a model ranch where scientists come to learn.
She paid “painstaking attention to natural processes” before beginning to build “hundreds of gabions, thousands of trincharas, and earthen berms.” Twenty years of labor later her ranch abounds in topsoil, grasses, trees and wetlands. Since she is 76 now, a lot of thinking must have preceded the labor.
Improvement of natural surroundings always involves labor and thinking—the labor of the mind.
Compare her story to that of Lori Glover of the Big Bend Conservation Alliance, whose emphasis is not labor and thinking but protest and hysteria. Last week’s “No safety testing evident in the Trans-Pecos pipeline” is an example of that hysteria. The use of the conjunction “and” instead of “or” is a tricky little deception that misleads the casual reader into thinking the TPP is not living up to its word. The company may choose to inspect “over 10,000 welds that connect each 80-foot segment” OR hydrostatically test the pipeline which “could require”—another tricky phrase—more than 54 million gallons of water. (Ms. Glover needs to take the time to visit with one of the drivers of the brown trucks with the monster cylinder sticking out their backsides to learn their role in pipeline construction safety, before she passes judgment.)
If Alpine’s 6000 residents use nearly two million gallons each day, as the BBCA article states, the over 300 gallons usage per resident indicates gross negligence of the town, not the TPP. Turning off taps, not pointing fingers, and shutting mouths will, in the circumstance presented, better protect water than will criminal trespass by her husband, Mark Glover and Society of Native Nations member, Jakki Hagans, as pictured on the front page of the Sentinel.
As I wrote a long time ago, the trafficking of criminal natural gas (word play mimicking overstatements by protestors) from the Coyanosa hub to the Rio Grande cannot harm the water or the soil regardless what happens to it on the way. (It’s a light gas; if it leaks, it flies away.) The pipeline in North Dakota is a wholly different situation, but locals have invited SNN protesters, who say they are water and soil protectors. Sorry, but they have no place here, except to make headlines and sell newspapers.
To give credit where credit is due, the real water protectors are those who labor at the three bentonite clay mining companies in Brewster County, and earn their keep.
George “Rex” Redden
South Brewster County
I want to thank the 652 who voted for President-elect Donald Trump, and I’d even like to thank the 94 voters who voted against Hillary Clinton (in Presidio County). You are part of the overwhelming majority of people in “flyover” country who voted to stop the “fundamental transformation” of the United States.
My personal feelings were not so much joy at having seen Trump elected as it was relief that Clinton was not.
The media was largely successful in convincing us that the two previous midterms, overwhelming Republican victories, weren’t. The landside victory of Trump, now confirmed at 304 electoral votes, cemented those victories.
Some on the left will never acknowledge those victories, so be prepared for hateful vitriol for the foreseeable future. It will pale when compared to the media-induced hysteria against George Bush, a president that I contend that if he’d had a “D” by his name would have been one of the most beloved Democrat presidents ever.
The left tried a recount. It didn’t work. They blamed their defeat on Drudge, Breitbart, Comey and even Huma; they blamed Russian hackers, they blamed the Electoral College, which had more defectors from Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump. Everything they’ve done gives mind to Wile E. Coyote’s efforts against the Roadrunner. There is nothing we can say or do to change their minds.
Do not allow the left to convince you of this being anything other than an overwhelming repudiation of the policies of the last eight years.
And thank you, again, and God bless y’all,
Presidio County Republican County Chairman