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City of El Paso debt=$2,670,400,000, county and school district debt=$1,600,000,000. Total $4.27 billion. Your share $19,350
Updated: 24 min 20 sec ago

Outsold

Wed, 12/19/2018 - 5:00am

Let’s do a little comparison between our economic development efforts and those over at Santa Teresa.

Earlier this year city council agreed to give over $100 million  in economic incentives to a hotel/waterpark.  The recipient plans to spend about $150 million to build the facility and has told us that they will employ 385 hospitality workers.

Just the other day we learned that Santa Teresa will be getting a new cable manufacturing facility.  The company will invest $50 million and plans to employ 342 workers.  The economic incentive granted will be $3.92 million.

Good grief!

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Really expensive bus stops

Tue, 12/18/2018 - 6:59am

Last week  city council will also considered awarding a contract to build 24 Brio stations on the Montana route for $19.6 million dollars.

That means that each station will cost $816,000.

With the median home price in El Paso at $126,000.

That means that each Brio stop is worth the same as 6 and 1/2 houses.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Brio stops in the middle of the block

Mon, 12/17/2018 - 5:00am

Several of the recent comments on the blog have been about the incidence of jay walking on Mesa street.

Have you noticed that many if not most of the Brio stops are not located at street corners thus requiring riders to walk some distance before reaching an intersection where they can legally cross Mesa.?

Is this a contributor to the number of times people jay walk?

Why don’t the police ticket people who cross the street illegally?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Election results

Sun, 12/16/2018 - 6:44am

What do you think about the election results?

 

Categories: Local Blogs

Vote today

Sat, 12/15/2018 - 5:00am

Here are the early voting statistics:

Have you noticed the lack of activity from the candidates?

The election is today (Saturday, December 15, 2018).

Please vote.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

On pedestrian responsibility

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 5:00am

A loyal reader sent this in:

On the night of a full moon this fall my wife was driving west on Robinson shortly after moonrise. She came around one of those blind bends in the road and almost ran over a photographer with a tripod in the middle of the road, obviously attempting to get a good photo of a gorgeous full moon. He was wearing all black – there was no warning that he was in the middle of the road.

One morning shortly afterwards I was standing at the traffic light at Mesa and Baltimore waiting for the ‘walk’ sign to light up – it was around 8 o’clock, in the heart of the morning rush. A gentleman with a cane left the Baltimore side of the intersection while the walk light was flashing red and counting down from 9. Naturally, he didn’t make it all the way across so he was stranded on the median. He waited until the crossing southbound traffic ebbed then continued to cross – against the light.

My mind flashed to the news of the Thanksgiving morning fatality on Mesa just a block south of there, and to the news of the recent conviction of the driver involved in the March 2017 death of a nurse at another nearby intersection.

There have been several pedestrian fatalities in the area and, except for the elderly couple hit in broad daylight while crossing Mesa near the Village Inn, they seem to have several things in common:

  • They were late at night or early in the morning,
  • The drivers involved some mixture of alcohol, speeding, and/or running red lights.
  • The victims had been drinking/partying/celebrating/socializing in the Kern Area.

Our natural reaction is to be outraged at the drunk driver. Obviously we should blame the driver. Let’s also blame the state – Mesa Street is a state highway, they ought to do something. Also, blame the city, the police department should have prevented it.

Where in this discussion does the issue of pedestrian responsibility play?

Many people have proposed solutions, including:

  • Narrow Mesa down to one lane each way (forget that it is one of only two alternatives to I-10 when it is congested by an accident).
  • Construct a pedestrian bridge (it would have to be ADA compliant and there is little space to work with, but be honest, people probably wouldn’t use it anyway).
  • Install speed bumps, or add automatic bollards that pop up when the light is red.
  • Increase police presence (and more importantly, increase enforcement).
  • Add more lighting.
  • Tunnel the road under the area or elevate the road over the area.
  • Close the bars.
I offer some things for pedestrians to think about:
  • Someone’s Grandma said, “Nothing good happens after midnight.”
  • Mesa Street is dangerous.
  • Dark clothes may be stylish, but they also make you hard to see at night.
  • You may be in the right, but you could be dead right.

It is not my intent to blame the victims of the Kern Area pedestrian accidents, or to minimize the recklessness and possible criminality of the drivers. The incidents were tragic; young lives were shortened and the survivors grieve.

Pedestrians in the Kern Area have to be aware that there is danger. If you are crossing Mesa Street on foot, you are playing Frogger and you are potential splatter. Even if you cross at a controlled intersection, with the pedestrian walk light in your favor, it is still dangerous. Watch the traffic, be prepared to evade it.

If pedestrians are not careful, IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN.

Categories: Local Blogs

Streetcar ridership

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 6:33am

Isn’t it a shame that their were no passengers on the streetcar that was recently involved in a traffic accident?

Of course we are thankful that no one got hurt.

Does anyone know what the ridership numbers are on the streetcars?

We deserve better

Brutus

 

Categories: Local Blogs

Success at a newspaper

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 5:00am

Rich Wright over at elchuqueno.com published this post the other day.

One newspaper seemingly has increased both its circulation and advertising revenue.

How?

By reporting instead of being a publishing arm of the various governments.

I suppose it is too much to hope that the folks over at the Times try to do the same thing.

We deserve better

Brutus

 

 

Categories: Local Blogs

Good schools

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 5:00am

The Texas Education Agency 2018 school ratings have been published.

You can see them here.

EPISD’s highest graded middle school was Hornedo with a score of 91.  Charles Middle was scored at 89.

The El Paso Leadership Academy is a chartered middle school and they scored an 85.

They did that with no bond money.

Our congratulations to the students, faculty and staff at these schools.

This is better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Caravan haven

Sun, 12/09/2018 - 5:00am

Aren’t we nice?

Item 3.2 on the Tuesday, December 11, 2018 city council consent agenda reads:

A Resolution that the City Manager is hereby authorized to sign, on behalf of the City of El Paso, a lease with the Government of the Country of El Salvador for the lease of 400 W. San Antonio, Suite B, El Paso, Texas 79902, for a two-year term, at a rental amount of five hundred dollars ($500.00) per month, with one two-year term extension option subject to a five percent (5%) increase in rent.

The background material contains this:

The rental rate is below market-rate, however, authorized through the determination by the City that the lease benefits the City by serving the public purpose of providing consulate services to the residents of the City; fostering the City of El Paso’s relationship with the Government of El Salvador; and growing the City of El Paso’s international visibility.

What public benefit?

To the caravans?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Open mike

Sat, 12/08/2018 - 6:07am

What would you like to talk about?

Remember to keep it clean and not personal.

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

A date that will live in infamy

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 5:00am

Our entry into world war two came after a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on this day (December 7) 1941.

A lot has changed since then.

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Initiative

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 5:00am

A good friend suggested the other day that in light of the fact that city council restricts public input and that city council members read this blog we should find a way to allow the readers to initiate discussions on the blog.

This would allow people to bring up topics without making comments that are off topic.

What day of the week should we do this?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Carpetbaggers running our local governments?

Wed, 12/05/2018 - 5:00am

For some reason our public institutions have been hiring their senior managers from out of town the last few years.

Look at what that has gotten us at the city and EPISD.

Maybe we should start hiring people who live here and are committed to our community.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

A local newspaper

Tue, 12/04/2018 - 5:00am

I stopped by a restaurant for breakfast the other day and observed three different people reading newspapers.

As it turned out they were reading El Diario.

One of the clues was the number of pages in the newspaper.

Another was the length of the articles.

Many of us would subscribe to an English language version of El Diario.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Runoff elections

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 5:00am

Early voting for the city runoff election ends December 11, 2018.

As it turns out both runoffs (district 1 and district 8) are west side elections.

As of the end of the third day of early voting the statistics were:

That’s pretty sad.

Please go vote.

The election is Saturday, December 15, 2018.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Wrong solution

Sun, 12/02/2018 - 5:00am

The death of another person on Mesa street near Cincinnati the other day was unnecessary.  We grieve for her family and friends.

It seems that the area is a popular nighttime hangout.

The lady was struck at about 1:45 in the morning.

The El Paso Times published an article the other day and wrote:

TxDOT has a long-term proposal for a Mesa Street tunnel running from Glory Road to Robinson Avenue. Vehicle traffic would bypass the entertainment district and the current Mesa-Cincinnati roadway would be a pedestrian area above the tunnel.

The long-term project would cost about $500 million and on the most optimistic time line would not be ready for another five years, Wright said.

Mesa street is unfortunately the main alternate route that can be taken when I-10 is closed.

Creating the tunnel would result in the closure of Mesa for months if not years.

There are other solutions like not crossing Mesa, or the party people taking their business to other locations.

Closing Mesa is not one of them.

We deserve better

Brutus

 

Categories: Local Blogs

Right to work

Sat, 12/01/2018 - 5:00am

This poster was on the wall of a local fast food franchise when I stopped in the other day:

The part that got my attention was “In most cases, employers cannot require you to be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident”.

After researching the point I realized that evidently people can get work visas without becoming a lawful permanent resident.

The poster seems misleading to me.

We deserve better

Brutus

 

Categories: Local Blogs

A stand alone indoor waterpark

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 5:00am

The water park portion of the Great Wolf deal is planned to occupy 86,138 square feet.

If someone wanted to build an indoor water park of that size and not build a hotel how much would it cost?

Let’s use one thousand dollars per square foot.  Industry reports actually put the number at $600 but let’s use the thousand dollar number so we can remove whether or not we have allocated enough money to the project.

This park would cost $86,138,000.

If the city and county were to contribute half of this amount the total cost to the public would be $43 million with the developer paying the rest.

We would then have a property that paid $2,763,495 to our local taxing authorities each year (roughly half of that would go to the schools).

Then the hundreds of thousands of tourists that the city claims will be attracted would stay in our existing hotels and we would get the hotel occupancy taxes as well as the sales taxes that the city and county have given away.

Even this $43 million dollar deal would be stupid but it sure would beat the $100 million deal we have been stuck with.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs


by Dr. Radut