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I Am Exhausted With The Hate

EPN - Border Analysis - Tue, 09/24/2019 - 10:00pm
Since 2016 I have been living in the most toxic environment of my life. That says a lot […]
Categories: Local Blogs

Keep these tips in mind when visiting your neighborhood bar

Borderzine - Tue, 09/24/2019 - 12:59pm

Working in a neighborhood bar can be a tough job. You work long shifts, always on your feet and on the go. You face customers who are at their best when they’re celebrating and at their worst when they’ve had way too much to drink.

But, it can also be great job because you get to meet a lot of different people, which makes it fun and interesting. And, you can make good money in tips if you provide excellent customer service.

It also takes patience because not all customers understand the etiquette servers and bartenders have been trained with. Working in the bar industry for three years I have realized a few things customers tend to forget or not consider while on their night out bar hopping. Below are a few tips bar hoppers should to keep in mind while visiting their local neighborhood bar for a great night out.

cover photo

1. Be Patient

Most neighborhood bars tend to get a large crowd during peak evening hours. Even if servers don’t look like they noticed you, they will get to you as soon as they can. They are trained to attend to people in the order in which they arrived. If you think a server forgot your order or something you requested, simply ask nicely again to remind them. Being rude doesn’t speed things up.

 

2. Treat your bartenders with respect

Almost all neighborhood bars are casual and the majority of the people who go tend to go have a few drinks with friends and family while listening to music. While the music may be loud at times, it isn’t appropriate to shout things like “Girl!’ to get your bartender’s attention. Simply stand in front of them and they will look up and ask you what you’d like or they will ask you to wait a second. If you must call for their attention a simple “excuse me” will do.

Know what you want to order.

3. Know what you want to order

Most neighborhood bartenders on average just make the most popular mixed drinks and don’t know how or have the time to whip up a fantastic drink like a specialized mixologist can.

It can be hard in a noisy bar to have a conversation about what names of cocktails to recommend for a person who wants something sweet but not too strong, or someone who likes gin but not a gin and tonic.

But if you share more or less what you want, most bartenders are likely to see what they can do for you because it is fun to create drinks. But with that in mind, you can’t be picky. If you think it is absolutely disgusting you still have to pay for it.

Prices aren’t made by bartenders.

4. Prices aren’t made by bartenders

Understand that bartenders do not make the prices for beers and cocktails, they simply enter the item on their register and the register’s system totals it all up ready for them to provide to you.

If another bar has the same drink or beer at a lower price telling your bartender won’t cause them to change the price, just accept it and pay your tab and don’t fight your bartender over the bill cost.

Do keep in mind how many drinks you’ve had and what you’ve had sometimes bartenders do have over 10 tabs at a time with more than one John drinking Bud Light and can make a mistake.

Don’t ask for a discount.

5. Don’t ask for a discount

When some customers run up a pricey tab they think they should some reward for it. They expect free shots or a discount. Don’t try to make up something that was wrong to get a manager to get a discount. Most of the time the manager will stand behind the bartender and accuse you of being under the influence and you will lose the battle.

Many more times do bartenders get asked to “hook up” a customer, by giving a few free drinks and shots. This does nothing but turn off a bartender, automatically it says you don’t want to pay like everyone else and the chances of you leaving a nice tip for them is slim. Do not ask for the “hook up,” if they want to hook you up, they will if they are allowed to by the establishment.

Make sure to tip.

6. Make sure to tip

It is not required to tip but it should be done out of courtesy. Most bartenders rely on their tips and many of them get a $0 check after taxes are taken out based on sales. There is no required amount to tip. If a bartender does make you a drink, a simple dollar is appreciated. When you order more than four drinks, or shots at a time it is nice to tip a few dollars. Many times people will ring up a large tab, and a “large” tab is considered anything over $50 and still tip about most customers will tip $5 at the most.

Again, there is nothing completely wrong with it, but if you think about it the average drink costs $5 so if you have at total of eight drinks the bartender served you and it is nice etiquette to tip a little higher such as %15.

Know when enough is enough.

7. Know when enough is enough

Legally, it is part of a bartenders job to serve customers accordingly and to avoid over serving anyone at all costs. Bartenders can get fined for over serving if TABC shows up on sight and notices any customer is in fact extremely intoxicated. If a bartender feels you have had too much to drink they will most likely cut you off, if they do accept it gracefully, cash out and leave via Uber, taxi or some form other of transportation that does not involve you driving. Remember, if bartenders cut you off chances are you are acting intoxicated and they are taking precautions to make sure you and everyone around you is safe.

Click hear to read Keep these tips in mind when visiting your neighborhood bar

Categories: Local Blogs

A new way to steal your property

Refuse the Juice - Tue, 09/24/2019 - 10:04am
Apparently some indigenous people once walked across the land that is now the future site of the unneeded arena - AKA "Duranguito." I still kind of wonder why nobody giggles when someone seriously refers to the area as "Duranguito" given... Brad Kanus
Categories: Local Blogs

Keep these tips in mind when visiting your neighborhood bar

Borderzine - Tue, 09/24/2019 - 9:04am

Working in a neighborhood bar can be a tough job. You work long shifts, always on your feet and on the go. You face customers who are at their best when they’re celebrating and at their worst when they’ve had way too much to drink.

But, it can also be great job because you get to meet a lot of different people, which makes it fun and interesting. And, you can make good money in tips if you provide excellent customer service.

It also takes patience because not all customers understand the etiquette servers and bartenders have been trained with. Working in the bar industry for three years I have realized a few things customers tend to forget or not consider while on their night out bar hopping. Below are a few tips bar hoppers should to keep in mind while visiting their local neighborhood bar for a great night out.

cover photo

1. Be Patient

Most neighborhood bars tend to get a large crowd during peak evening hours. Even if servers don’t look like they noticed you, they will get to you as soon as they can. They are trained to attend to people in the order in which they arrived. If you think a server forgot your order or something you requested, simply ask nicely again to remind them. Being rude doesn’t speed things up.

 

2. Treat your bartenders with respect

Almost all neighborhood bars are casual and the majority of the people who go tend to go have a few drinks with friends and family while listening to music. While the music may be loud at times, it isn’t appropriate to shout things like “Girl!’ to get your bartender’s attention. Simply stand in front of them and they will look up and ask you what you’d like or they will ask you to wait a second. If you must call for their attention a simple “excuse me” will do.

Know what you want to order.

3. Know what you want to order

Most neighborhood bartenders on average just make the most popular mixed drinks and don’t know how or have the time to whip up a fantastic drink like a specialized mixologist can.

It can be hard in a noisy bar to have a conversation about what names of cocktails to recommend for a person who wants something sweet but not too strong, or someone who likes gin but not a gin and tonic.

But if you share more or less what you want, most bartenders are likely to see what they can do for you because it is fun to create drinks. But with that in mind, you can’t be picky. If you think it is absolutely disgusting you still have to pay for it.

Prices aren’t made by bartenders.

4. Prices aren’t made by bartenders

Understand that bartenders do not make the prices for beers and cocktails, they simply enter the item on their register and the register’s system totals it all up ready for them to provide to you.

If another bar has the same drink or beer at a lower price telling your bartender won’t cause them to change the price, just accept it and pay your tab and don’t fight your bartender over the bill cost.

Do keep in mind how many drinks you’ve had and what you’ve had sometimes bartenders do have over 10 tabs at a time with more than one John drinking Bud Light and can make a mistake.

Don’t ask for a discount.

 

5. Don’t ask for a discount

When some customers run up a pricey tab they think they should some reward for it. They expect free shots or a discount. Don’t try to make up something that was wrong to get a manager to get a discount. Most of the time the manager will stand behind the bartender and accuse you of being under the influence and you will lose the battle.

Many more times do bartenders get asked to “hook up” a customer, by giving a few free drinks and shots. This does nothing but turn off a bartender, automatically it says you don’t want to pay like everyone else and the chances of you leaving a nice tip for them is slim. Do not ask for the “hook up,” if they want to hook you up, they will if they are allowed to by the establishment.

Make sure to tip.

6. Make sure to tip

It is not required to tip but it should be done out of courtesy. Most bartenders rely on their tips and many of them get a $0 check after taxes are taken out based on sales. There is no required amount to tip. If a bartender does make you a drink, a simple dollar is appreciated. When you order more than four drinks, or shots at a time it is nice to tip a few dollars. Many times people will ring up a large tab, and a “large” tab is considered anything over $50 and still tip about most customers will tip $5 at the most.

Again, there is nothing completely wrong with it, but if you think about it the average drink costs $5 so if you have at total of eight drinks the bartender served you and it is nice etiquette to tip a little higher such as %15.

Know when enough is enough.

7. Know when enough is enough

Legally, it is part of a bartenders job to serve customers accordingly and to avoid over serving anyone at all costs. Bartenders can get fined for over serving if TABC shows up on sight and notices any customer is in fact extremely intoxicated. If a bartender feels you have had too much to drink they will most likely cut you off, if they do accept it gracefully, cash out and leave via Uber, taxi or some form other of transportation that does not involve you driving. Remember, if bartenders cut you off chances are you are acting intoxicated and they are taking precautions to make sure you and everyone around you is safe.

Click hear to read Keep these tips in mind when visiting your neighborhood bar

Categories: Local Blogs

More shortfalls

ElPasoSpeak - Tue, 09/24/2019 - 5:00am

The city’s Firemen’s Pension Fund had an unfunded liability of $138.9 million on January 1, 2016.

Two years later on January 1, 2018 the number was $166.1 million.

With the police shortfall at $233.9 million the public safety pension funds are unfunded by $400 million.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Donald Trump v. Joe Biden and Corruption

EPN - Border Analysis - Mon, 09/23/2019 - 10:00pm
According to The New York Times, Donald Trump acknowledged discussing Joe Biden with the Ukrainian president in July. […]
Categories: Local Blogs

Dee Margo - Is It Over?

Max Powers - Mon, 09/23/2019 - 4:28pm
It appears your Mayor, Dee Margo, is in bad shape. Put aside the fact his opponent just had a Thanksgiving parade named after himself. Apparently from what some have told me, Margo was hospitalized recently. Not sure if it was in the news or not, not that I can find... Max Powers
Categories: Local Blogs

I'm confused about the complaints

Refuse the Juice - Mon, 09/23/2019 - 10:14am
I think it was Rich Wright who wrote a piece on El Chuqueno claiming, or at least suggesting, that the city is headed toward insolvency. Of course, I had a bunch emails saying this from different people, so it could... Brad Kanus
Categories: Local Blogs

Veronica's Press Secretary

Max Powers - Mon, 09/23/2019 - 6:27am
Bob Moore might be struggling to get his not-for-profit new blog up-and-running. But in the meantime, he still find ways to write glowing pieces about your CongressX, After all he has done for Escobar, you gotta wonder what Mrs. Moore thinks about it. "Honey, not now. I am writing a... Max Powers
Categories: Local Blogs

Missed an anniversary

ElPasoSpeak - Mon, 09/23/2019 - 5:00am

I missed an anniversary yesterday.

On September 22, 1862 President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

This was better.

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Trump Campaign Files Complaint Against My Art

EPN - Border Analysis - Sun, 09/22/2019 - 10:00pm
Last week, the Donald Trump Campaign filed a complaint against one of my “impeach” Donald Trump graphics. According […]
Categories: Local Blogs

ICE agrees to release 2 Indian hunger strikers from El Paso-area detention facilities

Borderzine - Sun, 09/22/2019 - 5:41pm

Two asylum seekers from India who have been on a hunger strike at El Paso area immigration detention facilities for 75 days will be released soon, their lawyers said.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have agreed to release Ajay Kumar, 33, and Gurjant Singh, 24, after they complete several days of refeeding at the agency’s El Paso Processing Center, lawyers Linda Corchado and Jessica Miles said.

“After he signed his release (documents), Ajay said namaste to each officer and looked at me with tears in his eyes,” Corchado said on Twitter. “’This road was long ma’am,’ he said. His is one voice in a broken system.”

Kumar and Singh were among four Indian asylum seekers who began hunger strikes on July 9 at the Otero County Processing Center, an ICE facility in southern New Mexico just outside El Paso that’s operated by a for-profit company. They had been held almost a year and were asking to be released while their cases were decided by immigration judges. They were moved to ICE’s El Paso Processing Center several days after beginning their hunger strikes.

Gurjant Singh weighed 89 pounds on Wednesday, down from 126 when he started his hunger strike. Photo courtesy Jessica Miles

It was the second large hunger strike at El Paso ICE facilities this year. In January, nine Indian men began a hunger strike at Otero and were transferred to ICE’s El Paso facility, where they were force-fed for two weeks. Those men also sought to be freed while their immigration cases were decided.

Eventually, two of those men were released in April after refusing food for 74 days. Most of the other men were deported, lawyers have said.

In the latest hunger strike, ICE sought force-feeding orders from federal judges for the four men in August. The judicial force-feeding orders in El Paso this year have been shrouded in secrecy, as judges have barred public view of all but one of the case files.

The sole exception has been the case of Kumar, which U.S. District Judge Frank Montalvo partially unsealed in August at the request of the hunger striker’s lawyers. In the cases of Singh and another hunger striker who has asked not to be identified because he didn’t want his family to know he’s on a hunger strike, U.S. District Judge David Guaderrama opened an Aug. 16 court hearing to the public but has kept all records sealed. The case of the fourth recent hunger striker, who hasn’t been publicly identified, has been sealed by U.S. District Judge Philip Martinez.

Thirteen Indian asylum seekers have been force-fed this year after beginning hunger strikes at the Otero County Detention facility in southern New Mexico, just outside El Paso. Photo by Robert Moore.

 

Testimony in hearings last month showed that ICE obtained court orders Aug. 14 authorizing the agency to begin force-feeding the four hunger strikers. Nasogastric tubes were inserted through their noses, down their esophaguses and into their stomachs.

The United Nations has said that force-feeding detained and imprisoned hunger strikers is a form of torture. The practice is widely deemed as medically unethical, something that ICE physician Dr. Michelle Iglesias acknowledged in the two August hearings.

ICE officials have said force-feedings are justified when hunger strikes put the life of detainees at risk, and federal judges have repeatedly approved force-feeding orders.

ICE doctor’s role

Iglesias’ treatment of the hunger strikers – before, during and after their force-feeding – has been harshly criticized by the hunger strikers, their lawyers and an expert in health care for detained populations.

Her identity was masked in records filed in Kumar’s case, and in the two August court hearings she was identified only as “ICE doctor,” even when she testified. However, she was publicly identified at a February court hearing involving two of the earlier hunger strikers. She said she was a contract physician for ICE and maintained a family medical practice in El Paso.

In her testimony at the two August hearings, Iglesias described the involuntary insertion of a nasogastric tube as “uncomfortable.” Kumar, the only El Paso hunger striker allowed to testify at a public court hearing this year, had a far different description.

“The process of putting in the tubes was very painful, excruciatingly painful,” Kumar said through a Punjabi interpreter. “This was a question of my freedom, so I bore it.”

Kumar and Iglesias both testified that it took three attempts to insert the feeding tube.

On the first two attempts to place the feeding tube through his left nostril, X-rays showed that the tube coiled up in his esophagus, Iglesias testified. The tube was withdrawn each time. “When I put it in the right nostril, I was able to get it in the stomach without coiling,” Iglesias said.

She said she hadn’t seen tubes coil in previous force-feedings.

In his testimony, Kumar said he had bleeding in his nose and mouth during the three attempted insertions and had trouble breathing. After the two failed attempts, he said a nurse asked him to voluntarily drink a protein shake. “If you don’t drink this, we will put in this tube again,” Kumar recalled the nurse saying. He refused and the third insertion attempt was made.

Iglesias and Kumar also testified that the other three hunger strikers were in the room when Kumar underwent the procedure. Iglesias said the small medical facilities at ICE’s El Paso Processing Center left her no other choice.

Kumar said he bled during the insertion process and he believed ICE was trying to intimidate the other hunger strikers. Two hunger strikers from earlier this year said the nine Indian men were present at each insertion proceeding, which was often bloody.

Kumar testified that he witnessed the nasogastric tube insertion of his three fellow hunger strikers. One of the men, who hasn’t been publicly identified, stopped breathing during his procedure and had to be revived, Kumar testified. Lawyers said that man ended his hunger strike after that.

Dr. Parveen Parmar, a professor at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California who has experience providing health care in jails, reviewed Kumar’s medical records for his lawyers and wrote a scathing critique of his care that was submitted to the court.

“This lack of appropriate attention to critically low blood pressure and astonishingly infrequent MD evaluations of a very ill patient, on whom treatments are being forced without their consent, would never be tolerated in any hospital and is, frankly, the worst medical care I have seen in my 10 years of practice,” Parmar wrote.

Montalvo cited Parmar’s findings – which ICE didn’t dispute in its filings with the court – in a Sept. 12 opinion that was critical of the care afforded Kumar.

“It is troubling that Respondent (Kumar) was not brought to an independent doctor for immediate evaluation upon initiation of his hunger strike,” Montalvo wrote.

Montalvo criticized Iglesias, though not by name, for failing to follow up on the reason the nasogastric tube coiled in the first two insertion attempts. He also highlighted several other examples of poor care identified by Parma.

“It is the duty of the Government to provide adequate medical care, not just to keep Respondent (Kumar) alive,” Montalvo wrote.

Despite his criticism, Montalvo’s Sept. 12 order said ICE could legally force-feed Kumar and other hunger strikers after obtaining court orders. He suggested, but did not order, ICE to obtain independent medical evaluations of future hunger strikers before seeking court permission for force-feeding.

Differing fates for hunger strikers

The force-feedings for Kumar, Singh and the third hunger striker who has asked not to be identified ended on Sept. 5, 22 days after they began, according to court records and information from attorneys. All three men continued refusing to eat, their attorneys said.

During their hunger strikes, the men received support from a number of nonprofit groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee, and Advocate Visitors with Immigrants in Detention in the Chihuahuan Desert.

Earlier this month, two of the four hunger strikers were deported to India, lawyers said. One man was in the 66th day of his hunger strike at the time, his lawyer Corchado said.

Iglesias “cleared him basically straight from her medical facility to the plane for India. He had not even had one meal,” Corchado testified.

In her testimony at the two hearings in August, Iglesias said a condition known as “refeeding syndrome” was a potentially lethal threat for people who resume eating after long periods of starvation. Such people require close medical attention as they resume eating, she said.

ICE officials didn’t immediately respond to questions of why one man was deported while nine weeks into a hunger strike and at risk of refeeding syndrome.

Iglesias told Singh and Kumar this week that she would sign release orders if they agreed to resume eating, lawyers Corchado and Miles said. The men asked for the commitment in writing from ICE. Kumar got that commitment on Friday, and Singh got it on Saturday, their lawyers said.

They have resumed eating and are being monitored for refeeding syndrome at the ICE’s El Paso Processing Center, Corchado and Miles said. They should be released within a week.

Ajay Kumar writing. Photo courtesy Linda Corchado.

Both men said they fled India to seek asylum in the United States because they were political activists and feared persecution or death if they stayed in their home country. Neither had lawyers during their immigration cases and their asylum claims were denied by judges. Both men now have lawyers and are appealing their asylum denials.

ICE has discretion to release or detain single adult asylum seekers while their cases are pending. Indians have said repeatedly that they feel that El Paso area ICE officials discriminate against them in detention decisions, an accusation ICE officials have denied.

Kumar and Singh both lost significant weight in their hunger strikes, but Singh’s condition seemed the most precarious. He weighed 89 pounds on Wednesday, down from 126 when he started his hunger strike, Miles said.

“I hope this is the last time that we have to do this. I hope that El Paso ICE will stop the harmful practice of force feeding,” she said. “I also hope that the injustices that led these men to stop eating will be addressed, that there will be an investigation into the across-the-board bond and asylum denials to Indian asylum seekers at Otero County Processing Center. Without access to justice, these men have to go to extremes to save their own lives. I never want to see another emaciated man begging for his freedom again.”

On Wednesday, Corchado made public a letter Kumar had written to the El Paso community, asking for help in his efforts to be free. He mentioned the Aug. 3 mass shooting in El Paso that killed 22 people. Police have said the gunman was targeting Hispanics and Mexican immigrants.

“I am a good citizen, and I am not a danger to people. I have no criminal record in India or in the United States. If saving/protecting one’s life and demanding freedom is a crime, then I have done it,” Kumar wrote. “I pray for the people who were killed in El Paso and pray that they rest in peace. I trust the people of El Paso and believe that they will help me gain my freedom. Thank you! El Paso Strong. I am strong.”

 

Click hear to read ICE agrees to release 2 Indian hunger strikers from El Paso-area detention facilities

Categories: Local Blogs

Words of support for the people of El Paso, Juarez from U.S. journalism professors who have been here

Borderzine - Sun, 09/22/2019 - 3:28pm

The shock and sorrow felt after the Aug. 3 attack on Borderland residents at an El Paso Walmart continues to resonate throughout the community more than a month after 22 people were killed in the mass shooting.

Near the site of the tragedy, an impromptu memorial of flowers, crosses and posters attracts a stream of visitors daily.  Words of support are still being sent by people from around the world to try to offer some comfort.

Borderzine has heard from a number of journalism professors who visited El Paso as part of the Dow Jones Multimedia Training Academy annual summer program that has been running for 10 years at UT El Paso. They wanted to share their own words to the community that made them feel welcome as they worked on stories about life here. This is what they want you to know.

Rick Brunson
Associate Instructor
Nicholson School of Communication and Media
University of Central Florida

Within an hour of landing in El Paso, I fell in love with it — even though I’d never visited the city.  My first stop after arriving for the Dow Jones Multimedia Training Academy at UTEP was the Whataburger on Mesa Street near campus.

At the table to my right, three high school girls — one white, one black, one Latina — chatted and gossiped away. At the table to my left, three construction workers — one Anglo and two Hispanics — laughed easily about their work day. Above me, a buzz of Spanish and English melded as naturally as the air I was breathing.

For the rest of week, I was welcomed as if I’d lived in El Paso all my life. The city’s hospitality won my heart. So much so that when I returned home to Orlando, I wrote a column about it that was picked up by 13 news organizations and won a national writing award. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/migrant-crisis-hits-us-border_b_5637289 But it wasn’t me. It was El Paso.

Now, from far away I mourn the darkness that has descended on the Sun City. But it will rise because the same love it showed me five years ago lives every day in the lives of its 700,000 citizens and is part of the city’s history, geography and DNA.

Love you, El Paso.

 

Jennifer Thomas
Assistant Professor
Department of Media, Journalism and Film
Howard University

My heart sank when l saw the news about the mass shooting. I’m praying for all of the families who’ve been affected and also for all of you and the community. I often think of our ‘17 cohort and how important the stories were that we covered … then and now.

 

Brad Mello
Associate Professor, Department Chair
Communication Department
St. Xavier University

I came across these historical markers during our day exploring the border/wall as part of the multimedia training workshop and learned of the rich history of the region. 

The residents of the area have always been resilient, as the stories on these markers reveal and I know they’ll figure out how to move forward in the face of this tragedy.

 

Karima A. Haynes
Assistant Professor
Bowie State University, Maryland

I am heartbroken over the slaughter of innocent people in El Paso.

I first visited El Paso as part of the 2016 Dow Jones Multimedia Training Academy. I loved the beautiful blend of Mexican and Native American culture set against the backdrop of the Old American West.

Hispanic, African-American and Caucasian people moved as easily between Juárez and El Paso as they did switching from English to Spanish. Our team of journalism professors from HBCUs and HSIs, and trainers from UTEP, were just as diverse and cohesive — which is not an oxymoron.

El Paso will always be in my heart.

 

 Geoff Campbell
Adjunct Assistant Professor
UT Arlington Department of Communication

My heart ached when news of the Walmart mass shooting broke. My mind raced with thoughts of the all the beautiful people I met when, in June 2018, I attended the Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Training Academy at UTEP.

It was the first time I’d been to El Paso in some 20 years, and I wasn’t certain what to expect.

What I encountered was love. I was struck by the pride of everyday El Pasoans in their city and its rich, multicultural stew. From Uber drivers to craft brewers, from former and current governmental leaders to restaurant wait staff, I felt the city’s great spirit of welcome and pride. It is with me still. And it comes as no surprise to me that the city is meeting this tragedy with love.

 

Farideh Dada
Instructor
De Anza and at San Jose City colleges

I’ve been following the El Paso news and have been saddened by the recent tragedy. My heart goes to you and the beautiful El Paso community.

I’m with you in spirit. Please take care of yourself.

 

 
Stu VanAirsdale
Professional Journalist in Residence
Sacramento State University

While attending the Dow Jones News Fund’s Multimedia Training Academy in 2016, I was assigned to report on the planned revival of the El Paso Streetcar. My team, drawn from journalism professors in California, Texas, and Louisiana, spent an afternoon downtown surveying the streetcar’s planned route and considering its century-old legacy as a link between El Paso and Juárez.

Amid the reporting, I was struck by a mural overlooking a parking lot on Stanton Street: “Ánimo Sin Fronteras” (“Spirit Without Borders”), by the street artist El Mac. The mural depicts Melchor Flores, who for years has sought answers in the disappearance of his son in Nuevo Leon in 2009. The piece is a companion to “Juarense y Poderosa,” El Mac’s mural in Juárez depicting a young woman named Diana whose mother was kidnapped years earlier.

The murals testify to not only the bond between the two cities, but the capacity for resilience and defiance in the face of anguish, terror, and what can only be described as pathological political inaction.

While El Paso has been on my mind in recent weeks amid coverage of detentions and spiraling asylum policy at the border, it wasn’t until news of the shooting that I recalled “Ánimo Sin Flores.” It wasn’t until contemplating Flores’ expression of strength that I aligned it with El Paso’s own redoubtability. It wasn’t until reflecting on the grace, kindness, vibrancy, flintiness and imagination of those Paseños and Juarenses whom I encountered in 2016 that I grasped Flores’ gesture as an emblem of all that the borderland has to offer this country. It says to me one thing: No matter how long and hard we have to resist or fight tragedy and dehumanization, we must resist and fight them.

I’m grateful to El Paso for what it showed me, and what it will no doubt show America in the weeks and months and years ahead.

 

Laura Castañeda
Lecturer, Internship coordinator
San Diego State University

My heart goes out to all of you in El Paso right now.  Not only you as citizens of that beautiful border region, but also all of the journalists who are out there covering the tragic stories.

 El Paso is very special to me because as I told you when we went, El Paso is the birthplace of my father, Ignacio.  He attended Sacred Heart Catholic School in the barrio.  My family has since left El Paso for Illinois, but my dad remembers places, names, and streets vividly.  My sisters and I recently gathered in my current home in San Diego to celebrate his 80th birthday.  I think about the victims and families who will no longer to do that. 

I remember during my stay going to the swap meet with the big white horse outside.  I also had the fortune of going to a very old diner called Lydia’s with my classmates to cover that story. They were a pioneer family of sorts and again it just haunts me to think about the many victims who probably visited these sites on a happy occasion.

My heart is heavy for all of you in El Paso. 

Un abrazo fuerte.

 

Lourdes Cueva Chacon
Doctoral candidate and former Borderzine webmaster
School of Journalism
The University of Texas at Austin

El Paso occupies a very important place in my heart and my mind — which is similar but not the same. I went there to study my master’s degree and, in addition to knowledge, I found much more in the process. I found a community that opened their houses and hearts to foreigners. I found a community that was proud of  its history. A community that suffered from oversight and oblivion from the centers of power but nonetheless fought for what was right for them and newcomers. A community that appreciates the value of multiple cultures and languages coexisting and enriching each other.

Looking at our former UTEP and Borderzine students coming back to report for national news organizations breaks my heart and fills me with pride at the same time. They come from a long line of courageous women and men that value family, the big family of humanity that has members across borders and across languages.

 

Dan Evans
Associate Professor, Journalism
News Director, South Florida News Service
Florida International University

A bit more than a year ago, I attended a multimedia training put on by faculty at the University of Texas, El Paso and sponsored by the Dow Jones News Fund. Outside of a gas stop on my trek on I-10 from California to Miami, it was the first time I had been to the border city.

Still, much of it felt familiar. I grew up in San Diego, so popping over to a foreign country for a bite or a drink on a whim didn’t seem all that odd. I was also used to the dichotomy between the Mexican and U.S. sides – El Paso vs. Ciudad Juárez and San Diego vs. Tijuana.

That is, that the American cities were clean, well-maintained, safe and orderly while the Mexican ones were chaotic messes filled with crime. The recent shootings in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton may have changed these perceptions, at least outside of the hyper-partisan bubble so often seen on cable television.

Though I have been to the Gilroy Garlic Festival and tasted the infamous garlic ice cream (pro tip: don’t), the Walmart shooting in El Paso affected me so much more. I could almost feel the dry heat mixing with the cold sweat of terror that must have dampened the shirts of hundreds of shoppers and dripped from the brows of dozens of police officers who ran into harm’s way.

My first thought was simply: “My god. Why El Paso? They don’t deserve this.” And then: “Why should any city, anywhere, deserve this? Isn’t this America? Aren’t we supposed to be better than this?” And then, sadly: “Not yet.”

Putting aside how things are going to get better, and how that might be done, one thing is certain: El Paso will endure. Despite my relatively brief time in the area, I was struck by so many Pasenos’ endurance, internal steel and, yes, stubbornness — traits seemingly required to live and thrive in often unforgiving landscape that is West Texas.

As part of my time in the multimedia academy, our little team of reporters focused on a group of mostly women keeping a vigil over the developers – and bulldozers – attempting to remake their neighborhood. Duranguito is in a rapidly gentrifying part of downtown El Paso, with the land suddenly worth far more than ever before. But for these women, the area had been their home for decades, and they had no intention of moving. (If you’re interested, here’s the story: http://borderzine.com/2018/06/on-the-wake-of-pancho-villas-140th-birthday-three-women-wage-a-battle-against-gentrification-in-el-pasos-oldest-neighborhood/)

A quick check of news about the neighborhood indicates the fight – despite the increasingly heavy odds to those opposed to development – continues on. This does not surprise me, but it stands as near proof-positive that El Paso will survive this senseless tragedy and, against all odds, that something good will come of it.

Click hear to read Words of support for the people of El Paso, Juarez from U.S. journalism professors who have been here

Categories: Local Blogs

Policemen’s pension fund

ElPasoSpeak - Sun, 09/22/2019 - 5:00am

What is the situation with the city policemen’s pension fund?

As of January 1, 2016 it had an unfunded liability of $179.9 million.

As of January 1, 2018 the unfunded liability had risen to $233.9 million.

This is sad.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

RumpToons No: 151

EPN - Border Analysis - Sat, 09/21/2019 - 10:00pm
I hope you enjoy RumpToons No: 151!
Categories: Local Blogs

Saturday

ElPasoSpeak - Sat, 09/21/2019 - 5:00am

What’s on your mind today?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Sun Metro shrinks

ElPasoSpeak - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 5:00am

Take a look at this schedule from Sun Metro.

It appears that many of the bus routes will lose service on Sundays starting September 22, 2019.

Also several of the routes show “Runs less frequently”.

It looks like they are shrinking.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

What Happened to the Manufacturing Jobs

EPN - Border Analysis - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 10:00pm
While most of you aren’t looking, a very telling moment in Donald Trump’s presidency is happening across the […]
Categories: Local Blogs

Mica for Mayor

Max Powers - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 4:39pm
There is a legit concern that Dee Margo will lose. It is not unwarranted. Besides the fact Dee is a Republican, there is the fact that he has surrounded himself by people that do him no favors. Whether it is campaign staff or city staff. Apparently they rub people the... Max Powers
Categories: Local Blogs

Far too many Republicans in power with the local Democratic Party

Refuse the Juice - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 10:18am
You read that right. There are far too many Republicans calling shots for the Democrats in town. Hell, if you don't believe me, go read Max Powers HERE. I'm half kidding, but half not kidding... which means I'm telling the... Brad Kanus
Categories: Local Blogs
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by Dr. Radut