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EPISD will require measles immunization proof before school begins

Borderzine - Fri, 07/26/2019 - 8:12pm

By Sophia Navarro

El Paso Independent School District students will have to show proof
they’ve taken both doses of the measles vaccine, or they won’t be allowed
to attend school in the fall, a spokesman said.

The move comes after the six cases of measles have been confirmed in
the El Paso area as of early July, said Gustavo Reveles, a district

“Students must provide proof of immunization compliance upon
registration,” Reveles said. “At this moment, whatever is set in place for
now for the 2019-2020 school year is the procedure we are following.”
The district expects parents to comply and does not anticipate a drop in
attendance due to the new requirement, Reveles said.

The district will comply with a recommendation from the El Paso
Department of Public Health to drop its provisional enrollment policy and
require all students to show proof of both doses of the MMR (mumps,
measles, and rubella) vaccine before being able to attend school, Reveles

The El Paso Department of Public Health, 5115 El Paso Drive, is one of three clinics offering low-cost MMR vaccines with extended hours as the school year approaches. El Paso Independent School District is requiring all students to have both doses of the vaccine prior to the start of the 2019-2020 school year.

It was not a surprise that after 25 years measles have returned to El Paso
since other states have seen a return as well, said Dr. Fernando Gonzalez,
lead epidemiologist at the El Paso Department of Public Health.
More than 1,148 cases of measles have been confirmed in 30 states since
January, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Prior to this school year, the district allowed students to enroll with only one
dose of each state-required vaccine with an agreement that the subsequent
doses be completed as soon as possible. Due to the current
circumstances, that provision has been eliminated for the 2019-2020
academic year.

Exception forms allowing students to attend classes without immunization
will still be accepted for religious and personal beliefs. Exemptions are
verified and allocated by the state, Reveles said.

The city is urging everyone to get vaccinated and look into their current
vaccination status to be sure they are protected, Gonzalez said.

Immunizations are being offered at three city clinics at $10 per child for one
vaccine and $15 per child for two or more vaccines under the Texas
Vaccine for Children program and Adult Safety Net according to a news
release from the city of El Paso. The clinics will have extended hours, from
7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and remaining open during lunch hour, in order to make
vaccines more convenient.

A sign at the Henderson Health Clinic shows the recommended vaccines for young children. The El Paso Department of Public Health is urging area school superintendents to require both doses of the MMR vaccine prior to the start of the school year, and to remove the provisional enrollment policy for the 2019-2020 school year.

Measles is an aggressive disease that happens mostly in youth, but also in
adolescents and adults and can pose a serious health threat, Gonzalez

To prevent measles, the two-shot immunization MMR is required by the
state to enroll in school. The first shot has a 94 percent effectiveness
rating, according to Gonzalez. Combined with the second dose, the
effectiveness climbs to 97 percent.

The first dose is recommended at a year old. The second dose is
recommended after the age of four.

There is no scientific evidence that MMR vaccine causes autism or poses
any serious threat to an individual.

A young boy shows off his Band-Aid after receiving a shot at the Henderson Health Clinic on July 25, 2019.

People who don’t have access to the MMR vaccine and to protect children
too young to receive the vaccine, people should wash their hands often and
avoid areas where measles cases have been reported, said Registered
Nurse Jaimi Zona at the El Paso Public Health Department’s Henderson
Health Clinic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 90 percent
of people not MMR-vaccinated will become infected. Symptoms appear
seven-14 days after contracted and infected people can spread measles to
others from four days before through four days after the rash appears.

Measles is spread through coughing and sneezing and the disease usually begins with fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes. Measles can live in an airspace where an infected was, for up to two hours.

If showing signs and symptoms of a measles infection, people should visit
their medical care provider or call 2-1-1 to receive further instruction.

This story was produced as part of the Journalism in July 2019 workshop for high school students at UT El Paso.

Click hear to read EPISD will require measles immunization proof before school begins

Categories: Local Blogs

Yoga health benefits for all ages

Borderzine - Fri, 07/26/2019 - 7:46pm

By Triniti Faulks

People often find it amazing that at 45 years old, Robin Crociata, a mother
of five, is as fit as a 20-year-old. Several times a week she leads students who
are spread out on purple, blue, and grey mats as they reach for their toes and lift
their chins up to the sky.

“I feel that the one thing yoga does do is it gives somebody that inner
strength,” said Crociata, a yoga instructor and owner of Aloha Yoga and
Wellness Studio on the far west side of El Paso.

She came to El Paso nine years ago from Hawaii, after graduating with a
psychology degree from Chaminade University in Honolulu, and has been
teaching yoga for five years.

”Make sure you’re going to a teacher that actually is certified,” Crociata
said. She explains that when practicing yoga with someone who is uncertified
you might get hurt.

She started yoga while she was pregnant with her second child 21 years
ago. “I was very athletic and I was looking for something that’s still engaging with
the body.” she said.

She thought it wouldn’t be as hard as working out in the gym. “But I
learned otherwise.”

Robin Crociata, yoga instructor and owner of Aloha Yoga and Wellness, helps her younger class of yoga students plant flower seeds on July 24, 2019,

Yoga is a great way to improve endurance, it isn’t just sitting on a mat, her
website explains. Yoga will help your body relax while stretching, strengthening,
and lengthening the muscles you were just working on.

Yoga is a process of moving the body, finding the proper breathing
exercise, and meditation. “I want people to enjoy this moment and then feel good
about it when they leave the mat.” Crociata said. “It really doesn’t matter what
age you are.”

Crociata has worked with all age groups, from toddlers to senior citizens.
“It doesn’t matter if you can take your foot and touch your head or you just move
your arms slightly,” she said.

Her five kids from ages eight to 24 all do yoga, not as frequently as
Crociata but yoga is an impact in her family’s life. “They’re all very independent
and very kind,” Crociata said.

She believes, yoga helps the soul in a way that eases tension, and
promotes the health and well being. Practicing yoga often will help improve and
perfect posture and outlook on life, she said.

Yoga students stretch into child’s pose as instructed by Robin Crociata at Aloha Yoga and Wellness July, 24, 2019 during an afternoon class.

Yoga not only helps improve the body and its condition, but also helps with
mindfulness and meditation, her website explains. It is important to take a break
from daily life and technology in order to focus on yourself.

Focusing on your breath during practice is key to staying in tune with mind
and body, she said.

Crociata teaches a form of yoga called Hatha, which means sun and
moon. When practicing Hatha it’s a full rounded practice which focuses on
breathing, meditation, and engaging the body.

“It’s one of the most traditional practices we have in yoga,” Crociata said.
As the yoga class comes to an end, everyone rolls up their mats, stands
up gently, and leaves with a smile on their face.

This story was produced as part of the Journalism in July 2019 workshop for high school students at UT El Paso.

Click hear to read Yoga health benefits for all ages

Categories: Local Blogs

Pay, misinformation about city’s safety makes recruiting doctors to El Paso difficult

Borderzine - Fri, 07/26/2019 - 6:45pm

By Angelina Steel

El Paso has substantially less than the doctors it needs for a city its size, limiting patient’s choices for specialists and lengthening waiting times for patients as doctors are accepting jobs in higher-paying markets, two medical professionals said.

“El Paso has 128 physicians per 100,000 per capita.” said Dr. Luis Urrea, an orthopedic surgeon. “The state level is 184 doctors per 100,000 per capita. That gives you an idea on how far we’re behind. The national is 208.”

The United States is expected to be short 122,000 physicians by 2013, according to a recent study.

“Right now we have about 24 providers. We’re short about two providers. We could use a couple of more. In fact we just lost another dentist,” said Robert Gonzales, chief operating officer of Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe Inc.

Robert Gonzales, chief operating officer at Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe Inc, smiles as he explains his job.

One reason behind these staggering statistics is that the city can’t compete with larger cities that have higher salaries, Urrea said. Physicians in El Paso can make up to $342,000 annually, according to, but Dallas physicians can make up to $402,000.

Additionally, potential recruits sometimes believe El Paso is not a safe city because of violence across the border. However, El Paso is ranked the second safest city in the nation according to Austin’s KVUE. El Paso’s border city – Ciudad Juarez – is ranked the fifth most dangerous city in the world, according to the Washington Post.

Juarez, Mexico, with a population of 1.3 million, and El Paso with about 800,000, makes it by the biggest border area in Texas.

Luis Urrea an Orthopedic Surgery surgeon at El Paso Orthopaedic surgery group, discusses the shortage of doctors in El Paso.

“It’s difficult to recruit people here on the border, particularly the last 10 years or so with the things that have occurred in Mexico, and the stories that you hear today,” Urrea said.

“This is the biggest border area there is,” he said. “El Paso and Juarez are bigger than anything else in Texas. So a lot of our problems are expanded because of our size, and Juarez’s size.”

Some doctors are signing contracts to work in El Paso, and back out at the last minute, Gonzales said. “The issue of moving to the border has become a problem. We had one guy that signed a contract once,” Urrea said, and the doctor backed out shortly before he was scheduled to start.

“Then he got married and his wife said ‘I’m not going there. We’re not going there.’ Because she heard about what’s going on in Juarez. Politicians always talk about how dangerous it is, but the truth is we’re the second safest city in the nation. I’ve always been safe here.” 

With the shortage of doctors, it becomes harder for patients to see doctors. Lines become longer, and it becomes harder to find a specialist that they’re in need of. They may have to go to another city to see a specialist, Urrea said.

Gonzales said: “We see people here at La Fe that have such chronic diseases that are hard to treat because there may not only be one issue that they have. They might have high blood pressure, with obesity, with diabetes. Those are chronic conditions that all need to be addressed separately. So it does make it difficult.”

In addition to patients being widely affected, doctors are impacted by this concern as well.

“If you’re a PCP (primary care physician) it’s a little more difficult to find somebody who’s a specialist to take care of your patients in a timely manner.” Urrea said. “It’s overwhelming the amount of people that need to be seen. It’s also a silver lining because there’s a lot of people that need to be taken care of. Which is what I signed up to do. But it does make it more difficult.” 

Officials at Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe, and Texas Tech are utilizing more physician assistants and registered nurses who can see patients on their own.
“The recruitment of our providers is a tough deal to address. We work with Texas Tech to establish a core of providers here in the border area. Because we have different issues than what Dallas, or Austin might have,” Gonzales said.

This story was produced as part of the Journalism in July 2019 workshop for high school students at UT El Paso.

Click hear to read Pay, misinformation about city’s safety makes recruiting doctors to El Paso difficult

Categories: Local Blogs

Charging us to use our own streets

ElPasoSpeak - Fri, 07/26/2019 - 5:28am

The proposed 2020 city budget has been published.  You can see it here.

It shows that they plan to charge our own city water company over $19.8 million dollars in franchise fees.

Actually the $19.8 million will get added to our water bills.

They are charging us to use our own roads and other city property.

Next will we see the fire and police departments getting the same treatment since they both generate some revenue.

The franchise fee is nothing but another tax.

We deserve better


Categories: Local Blogs

The Nancy Pelosi Impeachment Strategy

EPN - Border Analysis - Thu, 07/25/2019 - 10:00pm
The question by many is why is Nancy Pelosi so reluctant to impeach Donald Trump? On the surface […]
Categories: Local Blogs

You got some real geniuses down there at City Hall

Refuse the Juice - Thu, 07/25/2019 - 1:32pm
Grossman sends out an email and the subject of it is something I thought we all came to an agreement on - you know the code of conduct document the city created??? Yes, I thought that was settled. Some of... Brad Kanus
Categories: Local Blogs

Forget the analysis–pick the one you like

ElPasoSpeak - Thu, 07/25/2019 - 7:16am

Item 6.2 on the Tuesday, July 23, 2019 city council agenda contemplates the award of a bid for insurance brokerage services.

The bid tabulation above evaluated two bidders.  One scored 90 points out of a possible 100 (including the lowest cost) while the other scored 80.33 points.

They want to award the bid to the more expensive bidder who also scored lower.

We deserve better


Categories: Local Blogs

Impeachment is the Next Step and the GOP Should Agree

EPN - Border Analysis - Wed, 07/24/2019 - 10:00pm
Yesterday’s Robert Mueller’s testimony before Congress proved that the United States remains divided as to whether Donald Trump […]
Categories: Local Blogs

Mike Cernovich To Do You, El Paso

Max Powers - Wed, 07/24/2019 - 6:27pm
Tired of Congressional delegations passing through to visit Obama-era cages? Tired of sleazy superintendents being, well, sleazy? Tired of Jose Rodriguez of just being Jose Rodriguez? Well, good news! Finally, something exciting happening in El Paso politics. One of the most interesting folks on Twitter - Mike Cernovich - is... Max Powers
Categories: Local Blogs

Firing Shots Too Early

Refuse the Juice - Wed, 07/24/2019 - 6:34am
Possible mayoral candidate Leeser and company have kinda jumped the gun with their attacks on the current mayor. Leeser's longtime friend and lawyer living out of town has agreed to try and hammer Margo with ethics complaints. The idea being... Brad Kanus
Categories: Local Blogs

We don’t really mean 60%

ElPasoSpeak - Wed, 07/24/2019 - 5:00am

In Getting officers out on the street we presented a slide where our police department told us that they plan to get 60% of their officers out in the field.

Later in the presentation they show this slide:

Five years into the program they plan to have 751 officers in the patrol divisions and 702 non-patrol officers.

No intention

That comes to 1,453 officers, which means they want to have 51.6% of their officers out in the field, not the 60% that they want us to believe they will achieve if we give them the $286 million that they want.

We deserve better


Categories: Local Blogs

It Is Mueller Time

EPN - Border Analysis - Tue, 07/23/2019 - 10:00pm
Let us face it. Today Robert Mueller is set to testify before Congress. In other words, it is […]
Categories: Local Blogs

Property owners stretched to the limit

ElPasoSpeak - Tue, 07/23/2019 - 5:00am

The note below was a letter to the editor in the El Paso Times recently:

Property owners stretched to the limit

Why are property owners in El Paso constantly being asked to cough up more money?

Paving streets and operating within allotted budgets seems would be a priority. Costly ballpark, a demolished City Hall, the trolley car debacle, missing millions, new bus terminals and empty buses, and tax abatements for new businesses for years. Guess who is shouldering this cost?

Combine that with our dysfunctional school system, with their bond money, that would choke a donkey. Wages here aren’t in line with our progress. My quality of life doesn’t allow me to water my lawn anymore.

As a taxpayer, wouldn’t it be nice if you could have a bond election every time your checkbook was short?

Greg Allen

West El Paso


Well said Mr. Allen.

We deserve better


Categories: Local Blogs

AMLO and the Failure of Populism

EPN - Border Analysis - Mon, 07/22/2019 - 10:00pm
Andrés Manuel López Obrador colloquially known as AMLO was elected Mexico’s latest president as part of the global […]
Categories: Local Blogs

Are you really surprised?

Max Powers - Mon, 07/22/2019 - 6:03am
Are y'all really that shocked and surprised that a local area superintendent acted out like he did recently? The guy drives around in a Porsche wearing pinstripe suits. Who does that anymore? That shit was cool maybe in 1987. There is a pattern of behavior with this guy. Whether banging... Max Powers
Categories: Local Blogs

Lost Dog beware!

ElPasoSpeak - Mon, 07/22/2019 - 5:00am

Item 22.1 on the Tuesday, July 23, 2019 city council agenda bears our attention:

Discussion and action on preservation costs and optimal funding sources for the permanent preservation of the approximate 1,000 acres of land owned by the City of El Paso, including Lost Dog Trail, to consist of at least three courses of action with pros and cons for each as directed by City Council on May 14, 2019.

The agenda item requires at least three courses of action to be considered.

There is no backup material posted with the item.

Does that mean that they are going to try to pull a fast one?

We deserve better


Categories: Local Blogs

Former El Paso Deputy City Manager Doing Community Service

EPN - Border Analysis - Sun, 07/21/2019 - 10:00pm
If you a long-time reader of my blog then you probably remember Jane Shang, the former El Paso […]
Categories: Local Blogs

A student who seems to care

ElPasoSpeak - Sun, 07/21/2019 - 5:00am

Johnathan Michael Muniz Becerra, aTerry Scholar at UTEP sent us an email that contained this:

Furthermore, I’m currently conducting a quality of life study for the city of El Paso to see what worthwhile investments are needed to really improve the quality of life within the city. I’m investigating various industries within the city from healthcare to education. In my honest opinion, I believe El Paso suffers from the following:
    • Brain drain
    • Low wages
    • Questionable municipal management
    • Poor investments that do little to enhance the quality of life and continuously bring low-skill, low-wage jobs (e.g. the subsidized ball park, enormous incentives to bring the Great Wolf Lodge)
From the observations I’ve been able to make, it seems El Paso leaders and investors take advantage of citizen’s ignorance regarding city management and the impact the decisions of El Paso leaders will have on them. Link to survey


A request from Brutus

Please keep your comments respectful.  We could help him by pointing out other deficiencies.

We deserve better


Categories: Local Blogs

RumpToons No: 142

EPN - Border Analysis - Sat, 07/20/2019 - 10:00pm
I hope you enjoy RumpToons No: 142!
Categories: Local Blogs

Saturday’s open comments

ElPasoSpeak - Sat, 07/20/2019 - 5:00am

Saturday is the day that we open up the blog to topics that the readers choose.

We deserve better


Categories: Local Blogs
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by Dr. Radut