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West Texas Talk

Figuring celestial distances from terra firma

February 4th, 2011


Beginning stargazers are often frustrated when trying to tell a friend how far a night sky object appears to be from another. Just how far apart do Polaris and the Big Dipper seem to be? Inches? Feet? Miles? Without a common frame of reference such measures are meaningless. Nor is it helpful to …

Desert varnish: Rock canvas for prehistoric artists

February 4th, 2011


You see this material on rock surfaces throughout the desert southwest. It’s also found in El Azizia, the hottest desert on earth, where temperatures reach as high as 136 degrees Fahrenheit, and in the dry valleys of Antarctica, the coldest desert, where temperatures hover as low as -128. In our region, it’s associated …

Thanks for Cajun fundraiser

February 4th, 2011

We’d like to thank everyone who took part in our very successful Cajun dinner fundraiser for Marfa EMS.

Chef Mark Scott prepared a brilliant meal, and Allison Scott produced stupendous pecan pie.

Thanks to volunteers Kaki Scott, Mallory Jones and Rebecca Holland, who graciously donated their tips to the cause.

Ken Whitley provided music and lots of laughs.

Special …

Schools Devastated While Governor Parties!

February 4th, 2011

When I was a kid, back in the Eisenhower-JFK days, I occasionally heard a saying that went something like this:  Democrats want to build schools, Republicans want to build jails.  The Dems had, and still have, that rather novel idea that providing an education now prevents crime later. Since the US has the largest prison population …

World War II and illegal immigration

February 4th, 2011

You know, I’ve been thinking about something. Some folks with several names and addresses who are readers of The Big Bend Sentinel would have met the Japanese with open arms if they had invaded the U.S. in 1943. We would have seen letters regularly in the Big Bend Sentinel stating how the Japanese were just …

Voter ID will diminish democracy

January 30th, 2011

By Sen. Carlos Uresti

Across the vast reaches of West Texas, there aren’t many places that are ‘just up the road.’ For many people in Senate District 19, a trip to the doctor or the Walmart or the grocery store requires some planning, a lot of drive time and a tank of gas.

That’s just one …

Vin Fiz’s Big Bend landing

Vin Fiz’s Big Bend landing

January 28th, 2011


I had my first encounter with the Vin Fiz Flyer when I was six years old. We were living in Washington, D.C., and I was spending a Saturday at the Smithsonian Institution with my father. This was before the National Air and Space Museum was built, and several historic airplanes, including the first …

The State of Texas: Why we should worry

January 28th, 2011

By State Rep. PETE GALLEGO, Alpine

Texans have every reason to be proud of their unique history, heritage and culture.  Sam Houston.  William B. Travis. Lorenzo de Zavala. Sam Rayburn. Lyndon Johnson. John Connally.  But the leaders who got us here would not be so proud of the leadership we have now.  The leaders of yesterday …

Payback all around the world?

January 28th, 2011

In answer to Lineaus Hooper Lorette, yes, America is in a dilemma with illegal aliens from Mexico and many other places. I think all wars are bad but they have been around since the beginning of the human race and most are justified. What about World Wars I and II? Both were very bad. Both …

Thanks for helping the garden grow

January 28th, 2011

The Marfa Elementary School Garden Committee extends a heartfelt thank you to Julie White, Nancy Benefield and Mona Blocker Garcia of the International Woman’s Foundation, Johnny Calderon’s Marfa Magazine, and all of the members of the Marfa Rotary Club for their generous donations to fund the creation of a school garden for the elementary students.

Thanks …

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