Skip to Content

ElPasoSpeak

Syndicate content elpasospeak
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: 5 min 36 sec ago

Saturday

Sat, 03/02/2019 - 5:00am

Today the topic is open.

Let us know what you are thinking about.

We deserve better.

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

On civility

Fri, 03/01/2019 - 5:00am

This came in from a thoughtful reader:

Somewhere it is written that courtesy is the lubricant of civil discourse.  Apparently, that does not work in social media and other electronic forums.

Jason Gay, a writer for the Wall Street Journal, said, “Social media in 2016 is like stepping into a trash bag of angry bees. There’s disturbing, genuine hate, a sociopathic lack of empathy, and almost zero engagement with opposing opinions, unless it is to demonize or insult them ad hominem.” (From “Sixteen Thoughts on Colin Kaepernick,” Sept. 7, 2016, Wall Street Journal.)

The term for these angry bees is trolls.  Elpasospeak seems to have attracted a crew of regulars that have taken up residence under the metaphorical bridge and pounce on anything or anyone who ventures an opinion.   They yell in ALL CAPS, can find fault in anything, and manifest all the other characteristics described by Mr. Gay.   One wonders if they are waiting for the second coming with a box of Crucifixion Nails.

Wait.  That would require action – real action and commitment – and maybe personal risk.

In my youth, I heard the term slacktivism — “Engaging socially in activism that requires little or no effort as part of a lifestyle or self-identity. Slacktivism requires no personal investment and usually produces no appreciable results.”  With the advent of the internet and social media, slacktivism has morphed into clicktivism, re-postivism, liketivism, and blogging.  Same characteristics:  no personal commitment or risk (especially when posting anonymously), no effort, and no appreciable results.

When a person was standing on a soapbox, he or she at least had to go to the street corner or town square and face his or her audience.   It was hard to be a troll when you had a person in front of your instead of a computer screen.

Let us examine outrage.  An observer of the modern news media has commented that today’s news stories seek to evoke one of two reactions:1) you should be scared to death about this news, or 2) you should be outraged.

Lance Morrow, also of the Journal, calls outrage the signature emotion of American life; he labeled it an addiction.  In describing modern political discourse, he wrote, “The various tribes have broken off negotiations with all differing points of view. They excuse themselves from self-doubt and abandon the idea of anything so weak as compromise or, God forbid, ambivalence: No other perspective could possibly be valid. … People give themselves over to the pleasures of self-righteousness and self-importance that come with being wronged when you know you’re in the right. “

“Outrage presents itself as an assertion of conscience, but in practice it mostly bypasses conscience and judgment, and goes straight to self-righteous rage, ……But, like so much else today, it has gotten to be a racket. The coin of anger is debased. Indignation has become a meme—not an authentic political or moral reaction to facts in a serious world, but rather a reflex, a kind of irresponsible playacting, or worse, a mania. When everyone is outraged, then real grievances lose their meaning, and the endless indulgence of outrage becomes, objectively, immoral.”

It seems like we cannot be merely dissatisfied – we must be outraged.

Categories: Local Blogs

EPISD board

Thu, 02/28/2019 - 7:34am

The EPISD board of trustees is a mess.

Of the seven elected positions two are currently unoccupied and a third is occupied by someone appointed by the board and not elected by the voters.

In the past cycle we have had two elected board members resign because they had higher political aspirations.  One member left to run for congress and another left to become a congressional staff member.  So much for the kids.  So much for keeping a promise.

A third member resigned because of residency issues.

We are left with three retired teachers and an executive working for a local not for profit.

The school superintendent runs the district.  The board is supposed to give the superintendent direction.

I hope the voters are careful in who they chose in the May election.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

What will the Times do?

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 6:45am

Max Grossman sent this in:

I am extremely pleased to report that Aaron Montes, one of the most driven and talented local investigative reporters in modern memory, has announced that he has been appointed Government Reporter of the El Paso Times. The new hire could not come at a better time. A few months ago our venerable daily lost veteran reporters Elida Perez and Aileen Flores, and we just learned that the Austin correspondent, Madlin Mekelberg, resigned in order to work for the Austin Statesman. Aaron distinguished himself at the El Paso Inc as an excellent journalist, investigating issues that many of his colleagues in the media refused to touch. As the only El Paso Times reporter specifically assigned to our City and County, we can be certain that the public will be better informed than ever before. I have no doubt that Aaron’s reports will serve as a strong check against government overreach and corruption. Congratulations Aaron! ***************************************** Now the question is “will the Times allow him to report what he knows or will they censor him?” We deserve better Brusut
Categories: Local Blogs

City wants to know more about you

Tue, 02/26/2019 - 6:46am

The city sent this notice:

The City of El Paso was awarded $100,000 in grant funding to use towards extending resources to our minority business population via programs that are easily accessible to the public. We hope to remove barriers of access to important resources such as capital, contracts, markets, and strategic business consulting services. We look to enhance economic and educational opportunities for the public via local resource partners, multiple City of El Paso Departments, and The El Paso Public Library System, which is another support pillar within the business ecosystem and for minorities.

The results of this survey will be used to gather baseline data for the City Accelerator project. The City Accelerator project is aimed at improving local job growth for minority and disadvantaged small business owners and entrepreneurs in all employment and business sectors.

As an important member of our community, your feedback is imperative to better inform the regional needs of the minority small business and entrepreneurial community.  Please take five to ten minutes to complete the survey at:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfZsvD2hfmKaPwF_KExEXSdfijXJvunfhYTav0lvGcyFqdDUA/viewform?usp=sf_link

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Aimee Olivas, Business Retention and Expansion Specialist at OlivasAP@elpasotexas.gov.  Your participation, highlighted by this survey, is appreciated and will ensure we address the needs of our minority small business owners and entrepreneurs in the El Paso Region.

***************************************

Take a moment and look at the survey.

Would you give them this level of information?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Facebook group elpasospeak

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 6:39am

We got some negative feedback from someone on the facebook group site elpasospeak.

The person was upset that we had not responded to a request that he made.

That group receives a link to each post that we publish here on this blog.

We do not moderate or read the facebook group, primarily because of the amount of time it would add to the daily process.

Please correspond with brutusep@yahoo.com if you have something that you would like to communicate privately.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

The games continue

Sun, 02/24/2019 - 5:00am

Our recently resigned EPISD board president’s resignation occurred just after the closing date for candidates to file for his seat.

If he really did not know that he was in the wrong district and he found out as he was filing for re-election he could have filed to run in the proper district.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Open line Saturday

Sat, 02/23/2019 - 5:00am

What’s on your mind?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Hard to deny

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 5:00am

Good government oxymoron made this comment earlier this week:

Did Hatch vote in the election he ran in?

Not all candidates show up on the ballot, only candidates running in the district you are registered to vote in.

If Hatch voted in the election he ran in then surely would have noticed that he was NOT on the ballot.

We deserve better

Brutus

 

Categories: Local Blogs

Ysleta outperforms other districts

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 5:00am

This graphic came from a recent EPISD finance and administration committee meeting.

Ysleta actually has a higher tax rate than EPISD.  YISD is at $1.455 per hundred while EPISD is at $1.31.  However they have been lowering it over the past five years.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Close, but no cigar

Wed, 02/20/2019 - 5:00am

As clarification please be aware that the former EPISD board of trustees president did not move out of the EPISD school district.  He moved out of (or did not live in) the portion of the district that he was elected to serve.

This graphic comes from the EPISD web site and shows his district (6):

His homestead is on Isla del Rey which is in the upper left portion of the portion marked 018.

His home is evidently one block out of district 6 and is instead in district 7.

Were there people at the district that knew about this?

We deserve better

Brutus

 

Categories: Local Blogs

EPISD disappoints again

Tue, 02/19/2019 - 5:00am

The EPISD school board president just resigned.

He evidently told the Times that he no longer lives within the district.

From the district’s policy manual:

A person elected or appointed to serve as a board member must
remain a resident of the district throughout the term of office. A
board member who ceases to reside in the district vacates the office.

Tex. Const., Art. XVI, Sec. 14;

Prince v. Inman, 280 S.W.2d 779 (Tex. Civ. App.—Beaumont 1955, no writ);

Whitmarsh v. Buckley, 324 S.W.2d 298 (Tex. Civ. App.—Houston 1959, no writ)

It appears that the Texas constitution, Texas statutes, and local board policy make are clear.

Question

When did the trustee move out of the district that he represented?

Did he participate in decisions that he had no right to be involved in?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

So much for heritage

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 6:53am

Take a look at the architect’s rendering of what the new fine arts building at El Paso High will look like:

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

City stops posting interim financial statements

Sun, 02/17/2019 - 7:33am

Would you like to know what the city’s interim financial statements look like?

Good luck

This is what the city’s website presented when I tried to look up a current statement the other day:

While they used to post a report each month it looks like they have not done so for almost a year.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Open line Saturday

Sat, 02/16/2019 - 5:00am

Dare we open the blog to discussion about our national situation today?

Please keep your comments clean and don’t get personal.

Can we discuss the issues without getting partisan?

Let’s try.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

EPISD compared to the others

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 5:00am

This slide came from a recent EPISD meeting:

Yep, the city is getting in our pocket books.

EPISD has been holding the line and I thank them.

Next year, however, will be another story.  They will have to raise their interest and sinking funds rate to make up for the 10 cents the voters gave them in the penny swap election.

The chart shows the increases.  What it fails to point out is that half of your property tax bill goes to the district.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Traffic suggestions

Thu, 02/14/2019 - 5:00am

This came in from Xavier Miranda:

Brutus,

A couple of suggestions to alleviate the congestion expected during the exit closures: City and Sun Metro officials should consider establishing temporary HOV lanes on Mesa, wherein buses and carpool vehicles are given priority during the rush hours. Dedicated lanes would result in Brio/buses running on 20-30 minute intervals.  Perhaps, if fares would be reduced during this period, ridership would also be encouraged. EPPD should monitor Mesa, and switch the direction of high density lanes in order to encourage flow during peak hours. Just my two cents. Thanks, Xavier Miranda El  Paso Grassroots
Categories: Local Blogs

EPISD election deadline nearing

Wed, 02/13/2019 - 5:00am

Dan Wever sent this in:

They like to make it a way before the election hoping nobody will run against the people now in office.  It works most of the time.

About the Board / May 4, 2019 Board of Trustees Election

*******************************************

Candidates have until Friday, February 15 to file for election.  The election will be held Saturday, May 9, 2019.

It would be nice is people would step forward and run.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Executive session participants

Tue, 02/12/2019 - 5:00am

Rich Wright over at elchuqueno.com wrote the other day about the city’s continuing use of executive session.

I don’t attend many city council meetings so I don’t know who goes into the executive sessions.

For those of you who do attend be on the lookout for who goes in.

Texas law only gives city council members the right to attend executive sessions.  The city attorney must also be present.

Note that the city council members have the right to attend and cannot be kept out unless the issue is about them.

On the other hand city council has the right to request the presence of any of the city officers or employees as long as their presence “is necessary to the matter under consideration”.

In other words the city officers and employees should only be in the meeting as long as it takes to discuss the particular subject that they are involved with.

We deserve better

Brutus

 

Categories: Local Blogs

Traffic question

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 5:00am

Helen Marshall sent this in:

Driving around lately I have noticed that ambulances and fire trucks and even work convoy trucks carrying orange barrels have signs on the back saying “Keep Back 500 Feet.”  That’s close to two football fields….In order to read and act on said sign you would of course have to violate it. Trying to picture the traffic maintaining 500 feet of separation with any such vehicle.  What is the fine for non-compliance? Is there any sense to this whatsoever?  Do they just mean “stay out of the way, sudden stops likely”? We deserve better Brutus
Categories: Local Blogs


by Dr. Radut