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February 16th, 2017 under West Texas Talk » West Texas Talk Highlight


It takes a village to host a TML meeting.

The mayor, city administrator, and council members of the City of Marfa would like to express our deepest gratitude for the overwhelming generosity of the sponsors who donated to the Texas Municipal League’s quarterly meeting that we hosted early this month.

The door prizes where sought after and fought over: Hotel Paisano, El Cosmico, Hotel Saint George, Big Bend Coffee Roasters, The Get Go, Marfa National Bank, Food Shark, Ballroom Marfa, Chinati Foundation, Judd Foundation, Border Patrol Marfa Big Bend Sector, Marfa Book Co., Squeeze Marfa, Mando’s, Marfa Realty, Livingston Ranch Supply, and Marfa Public Radio.

Thank you all so much for your openhandedness. With such a wide variety of values, culture and industry represented by the plethora of prizes, it’s not hard to see what really makes Marfa so special – it’s the people who come together here and call this place home.

A big thank you goes to Mr. Tim Crowley for taking the time to address the meeting as our guest speaker.

We would also like to thank Big Bend Brewing Co. and Porter’s Thriftway supermarket for donating the libations; you guys know how to start a party.

We also thank Fat Lyles for the wonderful and delicious dinner served to us and our guests,

And finally, a special thank you to Primo Carrasco and David Beebe for providing the entertainment: you’re the best.

Thank you all so much,

The City of Marfa



Customer feedback is important to Big Bend Telecom. We have strived for over 50 years to bring the very best technology to the region while continuing to provide friendly and personal small town service to our customers. Therefore, we would like to take a moment to address some recent issues raised when our new monopole in Marfa was erected.

First and foremost, we take great pride in our relationship with our customers and the communities we serve and we welcome your input! Your communication helps us to serve you better. We believe that the citizens of Marfa and all our customers deserve the very best when it comes to voice and data services. With this goal of providing outstanding service to our customers in mind, we developed a comprehensive plan to bring you faster more reliable data and voice services to Marfa. The newest monopole represents the second phase of development in this plan.

Big Bend Telecom wants to assure you we have worked hard to minimize the impact this monopole will have upon the community while still following current FCC guidelines/rules. We also want to assure the citizens of Marfa that although the monopole is now bright and more noticeable, it will not remain so for long. Generally, the finish of new monopoles will become dull and less obtrusive within a few months.

Big Bend Telecom also understands that residents of Marfa and the Big Bend region take great pride in their surroundings. This is why Big Bend Telecom chose to erect a monopole configuration for this new site instead of a guyed tower, because this type of structure will create the least amount of disruption to the environment and aesthetic beauty of the area. We also kept the height of the tower to only 145 feet, less than half of the height of a guyed tower, which provided the most amount of coverage for the least amount of visual impact. There are no lights required to be on a monopole helping keep the skies dark at night. We are also in the process of coming up with creative ways such as painting the structure to help minimize the impact even more.

This new monopole allows all residents within sight who currently do not have access to Big Bend Telecom’s network to still have the option to be served by the region’s fastest and LOCAL service provider. We invite you to give us a call at 800.592.4781 to visit with one of our friendly representatives or to check out our website at and learn more about what we have to offer! Big Bend Telecom wants to hear from you!

Rusty Moore

General Manager

& Chief Operating Officer

Big Bend Telecom




I want to thank Cheryl and Michael Calvert for their recent letter concerning the numerous loose dogs running around in Marfa. I, too, feel that this is a problem. Marfa has a loose dog ordinance, and it is posted at City Hall on the window. If our current animal control officer needs support from the city, more resources, or more authority, I believe it should be granted to him. He has helped me out a couple of times and I have absolutely no beef with him.

I personally believe that the way to proceed towards a safer environment is to ask our animal control officer what he needs to begin to address this problem. I myself would advocate a first-time warning, which would turn into a fine upon the second offense. I believe that fines would be a great deterrent. (Tags on dogs would save a lot of time hunting down owners.) I totally understand that now and then, dogs get out, but I see the same dogs over and over running around sometimes without collars or tags.

Loose dogs are against the law, unpredictable and sometimes dangerous. The worst possible scenario happened to me a couple of years ago when my dog was almost killed by a loose dog one block from my home in Marfa. My dog required significant medical care and I am still looking over my shoulder. I would never wish that on anyone.

Let’s work towards a safer town for everybody, for tourists, walkers, bikers, skaters, children, and elderly. Walk your dog on a leash please!

And while I’m at it, if you have dogs but no fence, please think about building some kind of rudimentary enclosure. Dogs on ropes are forbidden in many cities and it just isn’t a kind way to treat a pet. Numerous times I have seen dogs running along dragging a broken chain behind them. I have an inexpensive cow panel fence with wood supports and it was not difficult or expensive to install.

Thank you,

Mary Lou Saxon 





The hardest thing in public service is to find people to serve who will conduct the public’s business as if it was their own. So let’s review the City’s management of our business. In 2014, the City borrows $ 1.4 million, $400,000 for the parks department and $1,000,000 to fix our streets but without a plan of how to spend the million. For three years, the million for our streets remains unspent. Now, the City spends $ 65,000 for a backhoe from a local crony with money from the “2014 tax note.” The 2014 tax note is the million borrowed to fix our streets. The $ 65,000 paid for the backhoe was with money that was borrowed to fix our streets.

We have been told that the backhoe was such a good deal and the City’s one working backhoe must be shared between the gas and water utilities. It would be so convenient to have another backhoe. Such a deal: your house is on fire, so you go out and buy another TV because it is such a good deal and it would be so convenient to have another. Are the City Council and Mayor capable of understanding that $65,000 spent on anything is $65,000 not spent on our streets? Good deals and convenience are not going to fix our streets.

The management of City affairs clearly reflects dereliction in their responsibilities and duties to our City. The management of City affairs is patently amateurish and shortsighted. It is an amateur that borrows money without a plan to spend it. Do the Mayor and City Council really want to tackle the herculean task of fixing our streets? Marfa has watched our street deteriorate during the 10 years of maladministration by the Mayor and the three years that a million dollars went unspent.   As reprehensible as these actions are, the Mayor wants to continue his financial dictatorship and maladministration of City finances through the position of City Treasurer that he wants to create for himself.

Charles Schutz wrote a soliloquy for Linus that is to the point: “I don’t like to face problems head on. I think the best way to solve problems is to avoid them. This is a distinct philosophy of mine. No problem is so big or so complicated that it can’t be run away from.” This soliloquy is the working philosophy of our Mayor and City Council; avoidance and denial, their mantra.

The state of our streets is the 1,000-pound gorilla in the room and that is an understatement. Our streets are not going to be fixed by state or federal grants. If the City does not fix our streets, no one will. It will take leadership to fix our streets. Our City Council acts as if they are a high school student council, the Mayor, class president and service in City government a popularity contest. The business of the City is just that, a business. The business leadership that is required to fix our streets will not be found between our current City Council and Mayor. Their action with regard to this backhoe purchase clearly confirms this fact.

Love and Light,

Lineaus Hooper Lorette

Marfa and Fort Davis



The Alpine Avalanche published my “Letter to the Editor” on 2/9, but deleted the middle three of my five sentences.

Here is the entire letter:

“I was glad to see all of the well thought out and substantive letters in the February 2nd Avalanche. The Avalanche generally seems short of substance these days. What I want from our local papers is to be more informed of upcoming events and current issues. And, of course, the letters, so that readers can help bring a wider perspective to the discussions. I agree with the letters last week, that publisher Maroney’s editorial missed the great value of the ‘women’s march.’”

New comments for this 2/16 letter: some readers may have missed many of the letters that I praised. Five of the nine letters (that all disagreed with the publisher’s take on the “women’s march”) were printed in the B section of the Avalanche.

And Editor Yovanovich explained to me that my letter was edited “for space.”

Perhaps we letter writers might like to share our experiences of being edited.

Pam Gaddis




Sometime back I quit buying Brawny paper products because Brawny is owned by the Koch Brothers. If you don’t know the Koch Brothers, you are likely not reading this letter.

And this week I learned that Kelcy Warren’s Energy Transfer Partners – the company that is trenching the Trans-Pecos Pipeline – also owns Stripes. So I will no longer buy borracho beans at the Big Stripes here in Marfa.

Sorry for me and sorry for the ladies who make the best borracho beans ever.

But we do what we have to do, don’t we.

Ken Whitley



Story filed under: West Texas Talk » West Texas Talk Highlight

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