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Killing Mexicans

EPN - Border Analysis - Mon, 01/06/2020 - 11:00pm
A few days before Christmas, a woman – which does not deserve to be named – ran over […]
Categories: Local Blogs

Sun Metro continues to shrink

ElPasoSpeak - Mon, 01/06/2020 - 6:53am

Sun Metro has not been publishing their quarterly fixed route numbers so I made a public information request.

Their response was quick, the service was good.

They provided me with their year end report for FY2019 as I requested:

They claim having more than a million riders for the month of August 2019 and more than 12 million for all of FY 2019.

Unfortunately their records show another 6% decrease in ridership between 2018 and 2019.

Also please take a look at their cost per trip.  In August 2019 they show it as $5.00 per passenger trip.  The most a passenger can pay is $1.50.

Their records show that passengers paid $11.59% of the cost of operating the service in August 2019.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Veronica Escobar - IRGC Spokesperson

Max Powers - Mon, 01/06/2020 - 6:26am
I know Veronica Escobar cannot help herself. But I would just wish she would cool it on the whole vaporizing of Qassem Soleimani. He had it coming. If anything she should be pissed off because it took so long to send the motherfucker off into the next dimension. Here is... Max Powers
Categories: Local Blogs

Fifteen Days for Post Office To Deliver Mail

EPN - Border Analysis - Sun, 01/05/2020 - 11:00pm
I have an ongoing hate relationship with the United States Postal Service. For the last few years it […]
Categories: Local Blogs

Stop the spending

ElPasoSpeak - Sun, 01/05/2020 - 7:16am

Here’s another idea to reduce city expenses:

Don’t do this:

Discussion and action on the award of Solicitation No. 2019-909 Bicycle Connectivity Infrastructure, Phase I to Horizone Construction I, Ltd for a total estimated award of $1,898,160.80. The project consists of the re-striping of Alabama Street, Viscount Boulevard, Resler Drive, Robinson Avenue, Fort Boulevard, and Los Angeles Drive. The project also includes roadway improvements at the intersection of Alabama and Fred Wilson.

They propose to create bicycle lanes on Alabama from Atlas to Arizona.

Do they plan to have an EMS truck nearby?

Robinson is already a nightmare.

These are luxuries.  We need to pay our past bills.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

RumpToons No: 166

EPN - Border Analysis - Sat, 01/04/2020 - 11:00pm
I hope you enjoy RumpToons No: 166!
Categories: Local Blogs

Open line Saturday

ElPasoSpeak - Sat, 01/04/2020 - 6:00am

What’s on your mind?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Fort Bliss soldiers share their thoughts on living in El Paso

Borderzine - Fri, 01/03/2020 - 1:16pm

EL PASO – Life in the military brings soldiers to duty stations across the U.S and overseas. For many, it is easy to picture being stationed in places like Hawaii or Colorado. But, when it comes to a posting at Fort Bliss in this West Texas city on the U.S., Mexico border, some soldiers didn’t know what to expect.

“All I really knew of it was what I heard from old tales of the wild, wild west,” said New Jersey National Guard, Staff Sgt. Brandon Glaser, who came to El Paso from Chicago in 2012. “It was my first time on a military installation, I thought the perception of the military in towns like that would be not-as-well taken, but El Paso is a very friendly place.”

After moving to New Jersey, Glaser and his wife continue to talk about moving back to the borderland.

“We made such great friends there, we’re in love with the scenery, we like the outdoors, we love the weather, but the people of El Paso are just incredibly friendly and some of the best relationships we have are local El Pasoans,” he said.

According to Gilbert Telles Jr., public affairs specialist at Fort Bliss, 27,057 active duty military personnel and 37,747 family members are stationed at Fort Bliss living on and off post. The post sprawls from the center of the city to the Chihuahuan desert wilderness of New Mexico. Fort Bliss-stationed service members and their families are equal to just under 10 percent the population of El Paso. The 2010 census states the population living on Fort Bliss was 8,591.

Borderzine reached out to soldiers who were stationed at Fort Bliss in the past five years to talk about their experiences with the Sun City.

Both Veteran Sgt. Michael Boatright and Staff Sgt. Joe Mindar of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, revealed that the only thing they knew about El Paso before arriving was that their drill sergeant during basic training at another post told them it was “a shithole.”

“When I got here, my first impression was that the local populace wasn’t too fond of the military. Whenever I would go out to drink, to the bars, or to shop and people find out you’re military and they kind of look at you like, ‘Oh man, another soldier.’ But I guess that’s from their past experiences,” said Boatright, who came from Riverside, California.

“My overall perception, after living here for 11 years, is that I love El Paso. It’s a lot slower pace than what I’m used to in California. It’s a lot safer,” he said. “I got my kids here, my wife here, quite a few civilian friends. I’m just enjoying the civilian life out here and going to school.”

Mindar, from Springerville, Arizona, said that after being stationed in El Paso, “I did enjoy living there. It wasn’t that bad.”

After leaving El Paso to be stationed at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, Mindar was then sent to Fort Polk in Louisiana. He is currently on temporary assignment in El Paso. After returning he said, “Coming back wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, it’s still familiar, but I don’t think it’s home.”

Photo by Jared Carver, Borderzine.com

Perceptions varied depending on whether the soldier came from a small town or a large city. Some small town residents saw El Paso as huge, while city-dwellers considered it a smaller and slower paced town.

Veteran Spc. Dustin Rogers of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, came from Glennville, Georgia, which he describes as, “a very small town where everybody knew everybody. The kind of town where you could be 6 years old and drive a tractor through town and no one even blinks an eye.”

After arriving, Rogers was surprised to run into language barriers. “A lot of people spoke Spanish that I didn’t understand. But it’s like that sometimes when you go places you don’t ever go.”

Rogers said he was in El Paso for about two years with a deployment in the middle of his time here.

“I left as soon as I could. It was just way too big of a city,” he said. They didn’t grow up like I did and they didn’t treat people like I was raised to treat people. I come from a very small town where everyone would give you the shirt off their back if you need it.”

Veteran Sgt. 1st Class Tina James worried about the safety of the community,

“My perception of El Paso before I got here was that you were gonna get robbed,” she said. She even mentioned being told that she would be a kidnapping target due to her light complexion. After arriving, her perception was flipped.

“Everyone was so friendly. It was very nice. I have no issues at all, and I still have no issues,” James said. “I’ve lived here for 7, almost 8 years now and I love it. There’s always something to do. Actually, I love El Paso. I’ve made El Paso my home now.”

And that feeling of safety?

“I’m from Barstow, California, which is a very small town. Believe it or not, it’s a lot like El Paso just with a lot less people and a lot more meth.”

Fort Bliss has several services available for incoming soldiers and their families to help with the adjustment to living on post and in El Paso. Doug Piltz, Manager at Transition Services said that once soldiers arrive, they go through the Welcome Center for processing. At that time, they will be given direction, guidance, and information about the various organizations on the installation. Soldiers are also told where they are not allowed to go in the city. Additionally, they are not allowed to enter Juarez due to safety concerns.

Piltz said the following organizations are a few that encourage soldiers and their families during the integration process into their new community.

  • Morale Welfare Recreation (MWR)
  • Welcome center
  • Relocation office
  • Army Community Services
  • YMCA Armed Forces
  • USO

The Morale Welfare Recreation (MWR) organizes recreational, social events for soldiers and their families on-post usually, but sometimes they go on out-of-town events too.

 

Click hear to read Fort Bliss soldiers share their thoughts on living in El Paso

Categories: Local Blogs

Kiki’s – How a little neighborhood restaurant grew to be a community tradition

Borderzine - Fri, 01/03/2020 - 12:36pm

El Paso is a city packed with mom-and-pop Mexican restaurants – humble spots tucked in amid neighborhood shops that many non-locals might not even notice as they drive by. Places, like Kiki’s at 2719 N. Piedras. It is off the beaten path, but after more than 40 years, this Central El Paso eatery has grown into a local institution that attracts fans from across the city.

Kiki’s Mexican Restaurant and Bar was established by Paula Yardeni in 1976. The name Kiki’s comes from Yardeni’s daughter who was just a toddler at the time. While Yardeni was in charge of running the restaurant, Hector Latigo, 57, came on board as assistant manager in 1985.He worked his way up to manager and, when Yardeni retired in 2011, he bought the place, fulfilling his high school dream of owning a restaurant.

“I was born and raised in South Texas and had been working in restaurants my whole life. One weekend about 40 years ago, I came to El Paso to visit my sister and I instantly fell in love it with. I was surprised by the feeling of community and togetherness, the likes of which I had never experienced,” Latigo said. “I moved here as fast as I could and started working in a few other restaurants before I finally found my home at Kiki’s.”

The dining room is filled with tributes to and from the community. Polaroid photos of patrons hang on the walls next to the booths. Elsewhere, the walls are covered with thank you letters from dozens of schools, veterans organizations, and non-profit organizations alongside framed news articles and even notes of thanks from local and national celebrities.

Latigo said he always strongly believed in giving back to the community. “We’ve done a lot of fundraisers for schools, from elementary to high school. But I also like to get involved with all sorts of, not just schools, but other organizations, and to anyone that comes in and needs a little assistance,” he said.

His most popular fundraiser is selling green chile enchilada plates and donating a portion of those proceeds to a worthy cause.

“It’s so much more meaningful to give back to the community and know that part of our proceeds are benefiting the people who support us; rather than pay for a commercial. A majority of our business comes from word of mouth,” he said.

The restaurant has also received raves in regional and national publications. It was named one of the 50 Best Hispanic Restaurants by Hispanic magazine and has been featured on the Food Network.

Some of Kiki’s most popular dishes, the Mexican combination plate and green chile enchiladas. Photo by Amanda Pracht, Borderzine.com

While it’s true you can find Mexican restaurants around just about every corner in the borderland, there is a certain something about Kiki’s that keeps patrons coming back for generations.

“Our style of food is a little different,” Latigo said. “For example, our green sauce has a little bit of a different, creamier, spice to it and we do everything fresh.”

The restaurant is most known for their mouth-watering green chicken enchiladas, spicy molé and it’s “famous machaca” plate. The only things that are not on the menu are pork dishes – not even the Mexican staple, carnitas.

“We’ve never banned pork from our menu; we have bacon that we add to our breakfasts and burgers. But I believe that our customers have a particular taste and have never really asked for pork products. It just comes down to what our customers ask for,” Latigo said. “… It’s been working for us for over 40 years, so why am I going to change those things?”

The menu isn’t the only thing that hasn’t changed about Kiki’s. Latigo said the interior design remains in the same style as it did when it first opened.

“I truly believe that a lot of folks, especially those from out of town, want to come to a place that’s original and something from the past. They can get an upscale, fancy, modern Mexican restaurant in New York. But when they come into town, they want a place where the locals hang out. And even the locals tell me, ‘just leave it the way it is, this is the way it’s been even before it was Kiki’s.’ This is because it was a bar and grill right before it became Kiki’s,” he said.

Hector Latigo showing pictures historical pictures of Kiki’s building and pictures that were taken in the building. Photo credit: Amanda Pracht

Standing by a collection of old black and white photographs, Latigo said the building has hosted a variety of other businesses. “Back in the 1910’s and 1920’s this building used to be right next to a trolley stop. It was a store by the name of Altura Grocery.”

Latigo has tried to keep artifacts from the building’s past, including a set of four iron stakes on the side of the building which once were used to tie up horses while patrons shopped inside. “Those stakes had been here since before Paula and I were here, and I remember when the city finally came to redo the sidewalk, they pulled the stakes out and gave them to me for safe keep.”

Patrons eating at the booths of Kiki’s as lunch begins, while a waiter writes down an order. Photo credit: Amanda Pracht

The 64 seat restaurant is usually packed for lunch and dinner. Latigo said there are regulars who have been coming in since before he started working there.

” I’ve gotten to know the regulars on a very deep and personal level, and I wouldn’t change that for the world. And we don’t just make regulars feel like family, we make anyone who walks through our doors feel like family. I’ve had folks who’ve never had Mexican food come in, I’ve had celebrities in. … I mean people from all over the world stop by. My customers are everything to me,” he said.

Whenever Carmen Bethany and her daughters get a hankering for green chile enchiladas, Kiki’s is their go-to place.

“Probably I’ve been coming here since it was built or maybe a couple years after that, I would say,” she said. “It has great food and we like the green chile enchiladas and many other things too. It’s a great atmosphere, really friendly, nicest people, just a great place to come to.”

Kiki’s is part of her family story too.

Bethany recalled a day 18 years ago when one of her daughters went into labor with her grandson while eating at the restaurant. Now that grandson comes with them after school. Roberta, Carmen Bethany’s other daughter said “I can’t think of a time when Kiki’s wasn’t in my life. I’ve literally been coming here for as long as I can remember. We love the food and we always get the same meal, we actually split it. We love the atmosphere, we just love the feeling of hominess, that’s what keeps us coming back.”

 

 

 

 

Click hear to read Kiki’s – How a little neighborhood restaurant grew to be a community tradition

Categories: Local Blogs

On the other hand

ElPasoSpeak - Fri, 01/03/2020 - 6:00am

What person or organization do you believe did the most to harm us here in El Paso this last year?

As always please keep the conversation civil.

We should be able to disagree without being vulgar or resorting to personal attacks.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Americanization Day

EPN - Border Analysis - Thu, 01/02/2020 - 11:00pm
In the 1910’s the United States embarked on an effort to welcome millions of immigrants into its ranks. […]
Categories: Local Blogs

Let’s talk about something good

ElPasoSpeak - Thu, 01/02/2020 - 6:00am

What person or organization do you believe did the most to improve our lot here in El Paso last year?

We will probably see some disagreement between the readers of this blog.

Please keep the conversation civil and not personal.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

The Impeachment of Donald Trump

EPN - Border Analysis - Wed, 01/01/2020 - 11:00pm
I trust you all had an excellent start to 2020. Unless you are completely oblivious to politics you […]
Categories: Local Blogs

Happy New Year

ElPasoSpeak - Wed, 01/01/2020 - 7:34am

Happy New Year!

What will the new year bring?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Happy New Year 2020

EPN - Border Analysis - Tue, 12/31/2019 - 11:00pm
Happy New Year! That is my wish to you and yours. May 2020 deliver to you all the […]
Categories: Local Blogs

A dangerous day

ElPasoSpeak - Tue, 12/31/2019 - 6:00am

Please be careful today and tonight.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

El Paso Times Does Not Heart Claudia Ordaz Perez

Max Powers - Mon, 12/30/2019 - 1:17pm
I have said it before, and I will say it again, the El Paso Times will not be endorsing Claudia Ordaz Perez. Need proof? See this novel of an article published in the paper today - CLICK HERE. Before I go any further, this blog is a respecter of Eliza... Max Powers
Categories: Local Blogs

Government pensions

ElPasoSpeak - Mon, 12/30/2019 - 6:00am

JerryK wrote this in a comment a couple of weeks ago:

Stop payments into City retirement funds (that are underfunded anyway) and convert employees’ equity into annuities. Subsequently make annual contributions into employees’ IRA accounts so they are on a level playing field with the private sector that has largely abandoned pensions. Contribute what we can afford, like the private sector.

I agree.

If any of us have to participate in the social security system then I believe that all of us should have to.

The pay that our government employees receive should compensate them fairly while they are working.  Pension plans should be eliminated.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

A changing industry

ElPasoSpeak - Sun, 12/29/2019 - 5:00am

As many of us know Verizon is having quality problems in large areas of El Paso.

The word on the street is that a cellular operation in Mexico is interfering with Verizon’s local signals.

Verizon recently sent out this message:

Wi-Fi calling may improve your voice calling experience.  Please ensure that Wi-Fi Calling is enabled and that you have Wi-Fi activated on your device.

The future

As Wi-Fi becomes more prevalent will we see reduced reliance on cellular carriers?  Will we be able to buy less capacity from our cellular carrier and thus save money?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Rumptoons No: 165

EPN - Border Analysis - Sat, 12/28/2019 - 11:00pm
I hope you enjoy RumpToons No: 165!
Categories: Local Blogs
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by Dr. Radut