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A look deep inside politics and injustice in El Paso.Raymundo Eli Rojas
Updated: 43 min 32 sec ago

City Puts Only One Early Voting Site South of Sunland Park Drive

Tue, 12/04/2018 - 10:05pm

City Puts Only One Early Voting Site South of Sunland Park Drive
Did the City of El Paso Violate the Voting Rights Act in Selecting Early Voting Sites

There are five early voting sites for the City Council runoff for District 1 and District 8. 

The El Paso City Council has clustered  four of the five in the Westside, along the I-10 corridor between Sunland Park Drive and Artcraft Road.

Only one early voting site is south of Sunland Park Drive and that is the County Court House which is Downtown. 

This is the only early voting site serving people living between Sunland Park Drive and Fonseca Drive near Ascarate Park. 

To our knowledge, the city or county does not waive parking fees to the County Courthouse's parking garage if you want to vote there. This, in a way, imposes on voters a type of poll tax.

The City has put no early voting sites east of Downtown. None south of Shuster Drive other than Downtown. District 8 flows all the way east through South El Paso to Fonseca Drive. From Fonseca Drive to the County Court House, it is 5 miles depending on the route you take.

However, the four early voting sites on the Westside are between 1 1/2 to 3 miles apart. Two early voting cites are only 1 mile apart from each other. 

Why are there no early voting sites south of Sunland Park Drive? Why are there no early voting sites east of Downtown? Early voting sites could have easily been set up at any of the housing units in South El Paso or any of the schools, community centers, or churches.
Categories: Local Blogs

Comadres at the Wall: City Land Trade will Prove Lucrative for Paul Foster

Sun, 11/04/2018 - 12:08pm

Comadres at the Wall

1. Steve Ortega to Head Transportation Committee?
Rumor is that Ted Houghton is creating a transportation committee or organization with the El Paso Chamber of Commerce. It's rumored they will ask and pay Steve Ortega to lead it. When will he go away we ask?


2.  Great Wolf Lodge Land Exchange
The land being exchanged with oligarch Paul Foster is near a major TXDOT project.

 Read more here: 

3. Is a Port of Entry at Yarbrough poking its head out again?
A local organization began talking about the Yarbrough Port of Entry again. Could it be that Beto O'Rourke's potential election is getting El Paso's oligarchs ganas to bring this out again? More displacement to come folks.

Categories: Local Blogs

Domino's Pizza Takes over El Paso Streets & Maintenance Department

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 4:46am

Dominos Pizza Takes over El Paso Streets & Maintenance Department"Paving for Pizza" program overwhelmed by El Paso's Streets
by  Satira Sinvergüenza
Associated Mess

After receiving over 400,000 calls from El Paso residents complaining about potholes and San Andreas Fault-like cracks in their roadways, armed Domino’s Pizza employees took over El Paso Streets & Maintenance Department on Wednesday.

When reached for comment about the continuing deterioration of El Paso’s roadways, City District 8 Representative Sissy Lizarraga stated, “We have a nice baseball stadium. Look at the monkey!”

Earlier this year, Domino’s Pizza started a program in which it would dispense grants of $5,000 to up to 20 locations across the U.S. to help fill potholes and repair cracked roads. This was an effort to keep their delivery drivers from driving over potholes and thus ruining their customer’s pizzas.

However, El Paso proved too much for the corporate giant.

“We kept getting calls,” says Domino’s Pizza CFO Pepe Roni, “that pizzas were being delivered looking like giant tacos, pizzas folded in half or that all the toppings had fallen off.”

“Then the calls started coming in from El Paso residents,” says Roni, “400,000 of them!”

Instead of trying to fill one pothole at a time, Domino’s decided to take the bull by the horn and to fill the over one millions potholes in El Paso’s streets.
Above: Domino's Pizza employees struggle with City of El Paso employees in Street Department takeover.

“We were contemplating giving 4-wheel drive vehicles to all our delivery drivers in El Paso,” says Roni, “but after doing a cost-benefit analysis, it showed it would be easier to just take over El Paso’s Street & Maintenance Department.”

Former City Represented Steve Ortega who predictably was standing nearby said, “This is a good example of a public-private partnership. Oh, and Paul, Woody, call me, you’re not returning my calls.”

Categories: Local Blogs

El Paso Streetcars Part 3: Streetcars as Economic Development

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 5:11am

Streetcars as Economic DevelopmentMany Streetcar Companies are Mimicking the Same Tactics of Those Wanting to Build Stadiums in Your City

If we look at streetcars are economic development, then we should see them a success.  The Streetsblog says, “The primary benefits of streetcar projects were always intended to be related to development.” (1).

Lauren Fischer and David King published a report in the Journal of Transport Geography in 2017 that looks at the limits of streetcars. The intention is not to improve transit, but to increase economic development.(2).

The trouble with this is that the groups usually pushing for the streetcar, don’t want to pay for them themselves.

They want taxpayers to pay for them.

The allusion is that ridership will fund the running and building of these streetcars.  That is never the case.  Streetcars remain heavily subsidized.  Sometimes the money meant to build the street car line is sent to non-existent companies. Yes, let’s not forget the City of El Paso was shamed into paying invoiced to sham companies for work they did not do on the streetcar line. Bliss states:

“Nothing is inherently wrong with a streetcar beloved by developers, so long as developers are paying for it.  But they’re not, at least not on their own.  Taxpayers are picking up most of the bill for the 21st century streetcar renaissance — money which could otherwise support more effective forms of public transportation.  Overall mobility suffers when transit dollars are diverted to projects that are more about real estate than riders.”

Many cities are jumping on board with streetcars and El Paso, predictably, did a giant leap for mankind.  
And many streetcar companies are mimicking the same tactics of those wanting to build stadiums in your city: Let’s build something with your taxpayer funds, to make the city’s rich richer, something that will not be self-sufficient, and something that suck funds from your city’s infrastructure maintenance.

1.      Schmitt, Angie. “The Problem with America’s New Streetcars,” StreetsBlogUSA, October 4, 2017. Acess, May 6, 2018.
2.      King, David and Ficher, Lauren Ames. “Streetcar projects as spatial planning: A shift in transport planning in the United States,” Journal of Transport Geography, February 2016. Accessed May 6, 2018.
3.      Bliss, Laura. 
Categories: Local Blogs

El Paso Streetcars Part 2: Streetcars and Ridership: Expect a Decline After the Thrill is Gone

Mon, 10/08/2018 - 12:23am

Streetcars and Ridership
Expect a Decline After the Thrill is Gone
by Raymundo Eli Rojas

This is Part 2 in a series on streetcars. To read Part I, click HERE

We can predict that when the streetcar finally opens to rider, people will flock to ride them. 

The City of El Paso and the El Paso Times (well add Secret and her crew) will market this as a success; they will say, “Look how good we did!”

Then, ridership will decline.

Just last year, several articles were published regarding the under performance of streetcars.

Laura Bliss says in her article “Enough With the  Street Cars Already,” that in Detroit, ridership initially peaked when the new streetcars came out, but “A few weeks after the city of Detroit began charging riders a few bucks per ride on its brand-new downtown streetcar, ridership dropped 40 percent, according to the Detroit Free Press. Sadly, few observers were surprised.” (1).
Forty percent decline! 

Bliss states, “The streetcar, dubbed the QLine, is carrying 3,000 riders per day, short of the projected 5,000 to 8,000 per day required to break even.”  (2).

In looking at Atlanta, Georgia, Bliss said after the city “…saw a 60 percent drop in ridership after its 1.3-mile line, which opened in 2014, started asking for $1 per go.” (3).

The outlook in other cities is not good.   
According to Bliss:
Since it opened in September 2016, Cincinnati’s Bell Connector line has seen about two-thirds of the daily ridership consultants predicted.  Salt Lake City’s Sugar House line has fared even worse, with just about one-third of the passengers originally projected.  Even Seattle, for all of its other transit successes, is seeing about the same sorry share of original predictions.

According to the Cincinnati Inquirer, as of January 2018, ridership for their streetcar is half of what it was in 2017.  (5).

There are exceptions.  
These are Kansas City and Portland.  Regarding streetcars, Portland has long been used as a model for other cities.  “Overall,” says Bliss, “as critics have often pointed out, the record is pretty poor when these projects are judged as transit.  Which might be the wrong frame.  Actual transit riders aren’t well served by them, but developers and downtown business boosters tend to be pleased.” (6).

Therefore, Bliss states that if we look at streetcars as “transit,” the predictions for success are bleak.

Read Part 3

  1.    1. Bliss, Laura,” “Enough with the streetcars already,” CityLab, September 29, 2017. Access, May 6, 2018: 2.      Id.3.      Id. 4.      Id. 5.      Brazeal, Casey. “The Cincinnati Streetcar is Failing,” Planetizen, March 11, 2018. Access, May 6, 2018.6.      Bliss, Laura.
Categories: Local Blogs

New Whataburger on Airway Promises to be Vince Perez-Claudia Ordaz Proofed

Sat, 10/06/2018 - 7:41pm

New Whataburger on Airway Promises to be Vince Perez-Claudia Ordaz Proofed
Years Later, Many Innocent Lives Still Affected by Haughty Couple
by  Satira Sinvergüenza
Associated Mess

With the opening of the new Whataburger on Airway, many El Pasoans were worried that it would not stand the test of County Commissioner Vince Perez and City Representative Claudia Ordaz Perez.

But in a recent press release, Whataburger Corporate Headquarters in San Antonio, assured El Pasoans that they have nothing to fear.
In speaking with the Airway Whataburger Manager, Amber Guesa, she said “the latest technology has been installed at the new Whataburger so that patrons will have no fear of their meal being interrupted by impulsive couples.”
In 2016, after a Whataburger (Montwood and Zaragoza) patron honked at a vehicle that the Perez-Ordazes where in, another passenger in their vehicle got out of the vehicle and confronted the person who honk. 
El Paso Police officers who saw the incident ask the Perez-Ordazes and company to leave the Whataburger premises.
Perez demanded to speak to the responding officer's supervisor, demanding to  know what part of the penal code gave the El Paso Police Department authority to remove them from the property.
“We have installed security cameras,” says Guesa “that can spot the Perez Ordazes from miles away.” “We can even spot other Ordazes hated by Mexicans like Gustavo Diaz Ordaz.”

“To also reassure our patrons,” stated Guesa, “we’ve asked local night clubs to call us once the Perez-Ordazes have left their night club, kind of like the warnings given when Meyrl Streep’s character’s employees would give in the ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ when she was coming up the elevator.”
City Rep. Claudia Ordaz texting during City Council meeting.  “Our staff at all locations in El Paso,” says Guesa, “has received special training.” “Staff can now put up with questions like, ‘Do you know who I am?’, ‘Do you know I can have the County food inspector here first thing Monday morning,’ ‘I’m a city representative!’ and other paper tiger warnings that El Paso’s royalty might give.”
Guesa stated that staff at the Montwood-Zaragoza Whataburger, who were victims of the Perez-Ordazes, had to go through intense PTSD therapy after the Perez Ordazes caused the late night disturbance.
“Now,” says, Guesa, “if Perez calls a responding police officers’ supervisor and demands what part of the penal code gives us authority to ask him and his wife of leave, we can give it right way.”
J. Wellington Wimpy who frequents hamburger restaurants all over El Paso stated, “I’m glad Whataburger is implementing these safeguards. I’d hate to be in a car behind Perez and Ordaz, and then be threatened with violence if I honk at them.”
Above: County Commissioner Vince Perez shows which Whataburgers he will harass next.

The Perez-Ordazes were contacted for this story, but their representative Secre N. Mucho, said they have no comment but vow to get even with Whataburger by building arenas over all restaurant locations.
Whataburger will also be offering a special hamburger to honor the Perez-Ordaz incident, calling it the "Pendejo Burger." 
Categories: Local Blogs

Feed Insecurity and Child Hunger in El Paso County

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 4:00am

Feed Insecurity and Child Hunger in El Paso County
Many, Especially Children are Food Insecure in El Paso
We first look at the Food Insecurity map in 2012 and we thought it was time to look at it again.
The Feeding America network “is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. Together with individuals, charities, businesses and government we can end hunger.”
Feeding America regularly posts an interactive map that shows the level of food insecurity state by state and county by county. Their website states:
“Food insecurity exists in every county and congressional district in the country. But not everyone struggling with hunger qualifies for federal nutrition assistance. Learn more about local food insecurity and the food banks in your community by exploring data from Feeding America’s annual Map the Meal Gap project.”
"Feeding America undertook the Map the Meal Gap learn more about the face of hunger at the local community level. In August, 2011...child food insecurity data was added. This map reflects 2009 data; updates to include the recently released 2010 USDA and Census Bureau data will be incorporated in early 2012. "
A new 2016 map is currently up at Feeding America's Food Insecurity Map.[1]
Some definitions first:
Food insecurity: A condition assessed in the Current Population Survey and represented in USDA food security reports. It is a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food.

SNAP threshold: A dollar amount (based on a percent of the poverty level) at which a household’s income is deemed too high to be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program). Income eligibility is one aspect of eligibility, which also includes assets. These income thresholds and other eligibility tests vary by state.

The Food Insecurity Rate for the State of Texas is at 15.4% a drop from 2011 when it was 17.8%. This means 4,277,540 Texas are food insecure people.
33% of those insecure are above other Nutritional Program Threshold of 185% poverty. Compared with 2011, 61% of those in Texas who are Food Insecure are below the SNAP threshold of 165% poverty.
3% of those insecure are between 165% to 185% poverty. This is down from 2011 numbers of 8% of those are between 165-185% poverty
In 2016, 64% of those insecure are below SNAP thresholds of 165% poverty. In 2011, 31% of those are above other nutrition program thresholds of 185% poverty
Feeding America estimates that Texas needed an additional $1,953,920,000 which is more than what Feeding America said it needed in 2011 ( $1,673,903,770) to meet food needed in 2009. In 2011, the average cost of a meal in Texas was $2.36. In 2016, it is $2.67
Texas Children
In 2016, The Child Food Insecurity Rate was 23%. Compared with 2011, the Child Food Insecurity Rate in Texas is 28.2%. Currently is rates Texas as having 1,676,740 children as food insecure.
34% of insecure children are likely ineligible for federal nutrition programs (incomes above 185% of poverty) 66% of insecure children are income-eligible for nutrition program (incomes at or below 185% of poverty)
El Paso County
El Paso County has seen a drop from 20.3% in 2010 to 8.5% insecurity rate. As estimated 71,340 people in the county are food insecure, compared with 147,750 in 20
Within those who are Food Insecure in El Paso County:
·         0% of those insecure live above Other Nutrition Program threshold of 185% poverty ·         100% of those insecure live below SNAP threshold 165% poverty
Child Food Insecurity in El Paso County
El Paso has a 23.3%, a change from 37.6% in 2011. 55,120 children are food insecure, a drop from 2011 (86,390).
  • 26% of those Food Insecure children are likely ineligible for federal nutrition programs (incomes above 185% of poverty)
  • 74% of those food insecure children are income-eligible for nutrition programs (incomes at or below 185% of poverty) 
The interactive map can be found at:

[1]For methodology, see
Categories: Local Blogs

Why Does "Some" El Paso Water Smell Like Clorox

Wed, 10/03/2018 - 4:15am

Why Does "Some" El Paso Water Smell Like Clorox, Part 1Because You're Drinking Shit Water
by Raymundo Eli Rojas

Let’s cut to the chase. The El Paso Public Service Board, the entity that controls our water changed the system so that most El Pasoans would be drinking “shit water.”

However, there were areas excepted from drinking shit water: the Upper Valley and the Westside. Oh, and guess where all the PSB members live.

I first noticed this because my water increasingly smelled like Clorox.

Therefore, we are basically drinking sewage water that has been cleaned or “treated,” that is mixed with other water and then distributed to El Pasoans, except if you live in the Upper Valley or in Northwest El Paso (Westside of the mountain). We will have more on the research to b this up later.

First, let’s talk water. 
According to a recent article in Men’s Health, “more than 91 percent of U.S. community water systems meet EPA thresholds for such contaminants as arsenic, bacteria, and lead.”[1]The article also states, “Treated public water may contain chlorine or chloramine (known to cause nasal, eye, and /or skin irritation) or worse chlorine dioxide, which can have neurological effects.”[2] 
Concerning well water, “pesticides, industrial chemicals, and other crap (literally) can leach into it.”[3]

The article states that there will be several repercussions to increasing chlorine. One of course is the taste and odor. Chlorine tends to sap moisture from your skin, so long showers are not recommended.[4]

But, this will not happen to you if you live in the Upper Valley or Westside.  
To be continued.

[1]Men’s Health, May 2018, P. 15.[2]Ibid.[3]Ibid.[4]Ibid.
Categories: Local Blogs

El Paso Streetcars Part 1: The Beauty of Buying Things we Can’t Afford

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 8:57am

El Paso Streetcars: The Beauty of Buying Things we Can’t AffordBy Raymundo Eli Rojas

Like you, I have been enamored with trolleys and streetcars.  I remember the stories of my parents, about how they use to take the trolley to Downtown El Paso to watch films at the Plaza and other theaters.  I was recently in Kansas City and I took the streetcar from the Union Depot up to the Power and Light District.  It was magical.

So don’t get me wrong, I love these things and I will probably be one of the first in line to ride them when they open here in El Paso.

Then I have to consider my property taxes.  El Paso Speaks posted an article some time ago, “Almost as bad as you can get,” El Paso has the second highest property taxes in the nation when looking at the 50 largest cities in the country.
 It’s nice to do all these things in El Paso that we can’t pay for, to run up the city’s debt, to shift money over to things like Southwest University Ballpark or the trolley, and suck that money out of other areas in our city where those funds are solely needed -- our roads.

There is one thing about streetcars that has come out in the recent academic literature and urban studies articles, streetcars (like Southwest University Ballpark) don’t pay for themselves and ridership declines after the initial opening.

In El Paso, the streetcars will soon be running from Downtown up to UTEP. The Texas Department of Transportation announced a major hurdle recently in that they would be replacing the two of the bridges the El Paso streetcar would go over.  Did the City of El Paso not consider this? Probably not.

We are looking at a new series here and this first article will look at ridership.

Read Part 2
Categories: Local Blogs

by Dr. Radut