Thursday, July 31, 2008

Newman Park Neighborhood Association July Board Minutes

Minutes for Newman Park Neighborhood Association Board Meeting, July 26, 2008 at Cinco Puntos Press, 701 Texas Avenue, El Paso, TX. The remnants of Hurricane Dolly were causing area wide flooding in El Paso as well as Dona Ana, Otero, and Lincoln Counties of New Mexico.

In attendance: Becky Ayala, Lee Byrd, Lynn Coyle, Lisa Degliantoni, Sergio Guerrero, and Jim Tolbert.

President Lynn Coyle called the meeting to order at 8:13 a.m.

Lee reported that we have $976.12 in the bank of which $400 is designated for park bench memorials. $195 has been collected for membership dues including a membership from a Kern resident.

The Board began with reflection about the good things and bad things of the recent Annual meeting. Although some people who have regularly attended events in the past were missed, looking at attendance across several events the overall attendance at events has been good. Having a “membership” table and committee sign-up sheets worked well. Suggestions included: post signs at Park to join the Association, reach out to renters, invite people who use the Park but who may be beyond our boundaries, offer a Yoga/exercise class, and target micro-communities.
There will be a Neighborhood Association Summit on August 16th 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM at the Ysleta Independent School District Administration and Cultural Arts Center, 9600 Sims Drive.
Sergio and Jim will attend.

The Board next discussed beginning to work with committees. There were several people who signed-up to be on a committee at the annual meeting. Quick follow-up with these people was encouraged. The Board proposed good ideas for each of the committees.

The Board with regret accepted the resignation of Diana Erickson. Lisa D proposed Abbie ? as a replacement. The Board agreed to Ask Abbie.

The next board meeting will be August 23rd. Our next Park event is scheduled for August 23rd. The Board discussed possible movies for that night. Lynn asked that board members email each other with suggestions for movies. A concert is scheduled for September 13th. A Tejano band was recommended. Keeping to an acoustic group seemed to be the preference of board members. It was also suggested to add events to our pumpkin carving: a reading of La Llorona or El Cucuy for example.

Meeting adjourned.

Newman Park Neighborhood Association June Board Minutes

Minutes for Newman Park Neighborhood Association Board Meeting, June 21, 2008 at Doña Lupe Cafe, 2919 Pershing, El Paso, TX.

In attendance: Lynn Coyle, Diana Erickson, Lee Byrd and Jim Tolbert.

President Lynn Coyle called the meeting to order at 7:49 a.m.

Lee reported that we have $981.96 in the bank of which $400 is designated for park bench memorials. $300 has been collected for membership dues. Lynn agreed to write a “pitch” for dues for the newsletter.

There has been no report back from the City yet regarding traffic calming.

Feedback was given about the past movie night. There was concern that the movie (“The Love Bug”) was too long and too dated. It was also hard to hear.

The Board next discussed the upcoming annual meeting and picnic in July. Mayor Pro-Tem Susie Byrd’s office will supply hamburgers and hotdogs. People will bring a favorite side dish.

It was suggested that the September 13th concert include a fundraiser. Most felt that a group such as Ceiba or Los San Patricios would attract the most people to the fundraiser. Diana Erickson suggested getting donations as with a silent auction. However, people purchase tickets that go for a drawing for each donated item. [N.B. If we are going to do this, we need to start ASAP getting donations.]

The Board liked the plan for the placement of the swing sets as presented by Ric Garcia to Becky Friesenhahn and Jim Tolbert.

Questions were raised about the NIP funds – when would those improvements be made.

The City has no plans to replace the playground equipment in the foreseeable future.

Finally, the Board discussed painting tables and benches. Lynn said that she preferred that such painting be part of a bigger plan for art in the park along the lines of that done at the El Paso Botanical Gardens/Keystone Heritage Park. There was some discussion about painting tables and benches now and re-doing them later when money is available to do the larger art projects. Lynn was going to speak with Pat Dalbin about Public Art funding.

Food was great.

Meeting adjourned.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Green Tips from Laura Z

Our Green Tip lady, Laura Z, just got back from a stay at the Optimum Health Institue in San Diego. She sent this tip to us about the amazing health benefits of wheatgrass.
"This month's Green Tip is about a beautiful green drink called wheatgrass

I just returned from the Optimum Health Institute in San Diego where the wheatgrass juice along with raw vegetables, juices and sprouts were the menu. So I would like to share some of the amazing benefits of this remarkable juice.

Wheatgrass juice is one of the best sources of chlorophyll with 100 elements that all of our bodies need - enzymes, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and more. Research indicates that the juice rebuilds the blood (especially the red blood count), and is high in oxygen which optimizes brain and all body functions. (Cancer cells cannot exist in the presence of oxygen). It is also high in magnesium which assists in calcium and potassium uptake, and helps prevent CV disease.

Wheatgrass neutralizes heavy metals, toxins, drug deposits in the body, and helps purify the liver. It is good for blood sugar problems, digestion inflammation and infection. It can help with skin problems, toothaches, sore throat, varicose veins, body odor, mucous congestion, stomach ulcers, and infertility. It lessens the effects of radiation, slows the aging process, and makes you feel energized and more alive.

If you want to try some wheatgrass juice, you can go to Keva Juice. Most people do not like the taste, so I suggest you hold your nose and down it instead of sipping. Try one ounce to begin with and feel the energy. A better choice is to grow it yourself. It will take some time and equipment. You can also buy it in pill form at the health
food store (chlorophyll tablets may be from alfalfa and other sources other than
wheatgrass) although it will not have near the benefits as the live juice.

In an age when our food supply is not as rich in nutrients as it once was, I think a little wheatgrass juice is just what we all need. Those with health issues may want to drink more. It is a powerful detoxifying drink, so start with one ounce and work your way up. Also eat as many raw foods as possible since cooking destroys the enzymes and vitamin/mineral content of food.

There are many other uses for this green liquid, such as bathing in it for your skin. At OHI, I heard many testify to the benefits they received from drinking wheatgrass juice and eatting raw food and sprouts. One lady could raise her arm all the way up, which she could not do for many years. Another lady could straighten her arm which had been bent since she was in a car accident at age 12. Give it a try and see what it does for you ! Let's be green inside and outside.

Oh yea, I forgot to tell you who I saw at OHI..Sandra Oh from Greys Anatomy TV show ! I know she didn't go to lose weight, although most people lose 5 to 10 pounds each week on the program.

Remember this information is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fight Crime: Join National Night Out

Central Regional Command Center’s

National Night Out

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The El Paso Police Department will be meeting with Neighborhood Watch groups throughout the city in order to: 1) Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; 2) Generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs, 3) Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and 4) send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Join us and meet your PAR Officers. We will have displays and along with food and beverages.
Armijo Recreation Center, 710 E. Seventh 314 S. Leon (Central Regional Command Storefront)
Salazar Housing Complex, 1800 Cypress
San Juan Church 6:00 PM-9:00 PM, Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Monday, July 7, 2008

Crime Tips from Officer Henry Slack

Here is Officer Henry Slack's E-Force Crime Tips for July:

Due to an increase in Identity Theft this month’s topic is Identity Theft, below are some things to consider.

A person commits an offense if the person obtains, possesses, transfers, or uses an item of identifying information of another person without the other person’s consent
(name, social security number, date of birth, and government-issued identification number) and with intent to harm or defraud another. An offense under this section is a State Jail Felony.

How thieves get your information:
They steal wallets and purses containing your identification, credit and bank cards, or they find the purse or wallet you lost. They steal your mail, including your bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, new checks, and tax information. They complete a “change of address form” to divert your mail to another location. They rummage through your trash, or the trash of businesses, for personal data in a practice known as “dumpster diving”. They obtain your information from inside your own home. They use personal information you share on the Internet. They scam
you, often through email, by posing as legitimate companies or government agencies you do business with and many other deceitful ways.

The EPPD does not solicit for donations from the public!

What they do with your Identity: They call your credit card issuer, pretending to be you, ask to change the mailing address on your credit card account. They will apply for credit on-line and have the card sent to an address they have access to. The imposter then runs up charges on your account. Because your bills are being sent to the new address, it may take some time before you realize there’s a problem. They open a new credit card account, using your name, date of birth and SSN. When they use the credit card and don’t pay the bills, the delinquent account is reported on your credit report.

What can you do?
Minimize the risk by safeguarding accounts, SSN (Social Security Number), or any monetary account, using PIN (personal identification numbers); shred your junk and old mail, and bills.

Order a free copy of your credit report from , once a year report.
Notify the Social Security Administration 1-800-772-1213
Notify the Internal Revenue Service 1-800-829-1040

Other helpful contacts:
Texas DPS (criminal records)
Direct Marketing Association to keep your name off corporate marketing and billing databases 5 yearsTelemarketing No Call
Lists for the state (866)896-6225
Federal No Call List (888)382-1222
Texas Office of Attorney General (800)-621-0508
1-888-567-8688 to
OPT out of receiving credit offers in the mail


Officer H. Slack #2106, Crime
Prevention Officer
Central Regional Command

Thursday, July 3, 2008

It's a Start - But More Must Be Done

Building Permits and Inspections has met with the Streets Department to board and secure the old McKee home. BPI and Environmental Services was inside the yard earlier this morning. By Noon, some boarding had been done - most noticeably over the entrance into the basement boiler room.

However, even though it is obvious that some insecticide had been applied to the pool water and the open entrance into the basement boiler room has been boarded, the house is still accessible through an unlocked door at the top of a stairway behind the house. The door opens into the kitchen. Also, no barricade has been erected where the back gate is missing. You will recall that the back gate is in the swimming pool.

Also, the pool is uncovered and obviously quite accessible to the small children of the neighborhood who could wander in especially over the upcoming weekend.

So here are some nightmare scenarios that could occur at this still unsecured house of terrors:

A small child wanders in and accidentally falls into the pool. If he manages to surface, the insecticide fumes kill him anyway.

A young girl trespasses into the house. A vagrant is there, rapes and kills her.

Young children wander into the house. They step on broken glass or nails jutting out of boards.

Over the 4th young gang members think it is fun to tag and then set-off fireworks inside the house. The resulting fire guts this historic home.

If the City doesn’t think that every kid within two square miles doesn’t know that the house is open, they are kidding themselves.

By the way, we now know that the home did achieve historic status several years ago.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Inaction on the McKee Mansion

We now know that the U.S. Bank National Association (N.A.) (U.S. Bankcorp) has been assigned the deed to the McKee house. The department that works on foreclosed properties can be reached at 800-236-3488. They are on EDT.
The property has had a history of compliance problems with the City of El Paso according to Larry Nichols, the Deputy Director of Building Permits and Inspections:

"There has been a history of enforcement on this property. It has changed ownership a couple of times since 2003 and each time there has been a
slippage in property maintenance. It has been in and out of compliance in 2003,2004, 2005 and 2008 for weeds and debris. Other major structure dilapidation has come about the last few months, since June 2008 it is out of compliance as a unsafe structure.

"Currently there is a condemnation order in place for 'open and abandoned premises'. A title search is in process to identify the current owner for mailing of notices. BPI is making effort via certified mail to schedule the property for a condemnation hearing before the Building and Standards Commission by July 14, for a public hearing on July 30, 2008 to board and secure and maintain secure. We will report events and hearings."
Several neighbors are asking that the City take immediate action and Victor Torres, the Director of Development Services, has been asked if action will be taken. To date, no commitment by him has been made.
Mayor Pro-Tem Susie Byrd emailed Torres the following:
"Just so I understand. Does this mean that we can't take any action to
secure the property prior to the hearing? My worry is that we know kids are
getting on the property right now, we know that it is not safe and we know that
it continues to be vandalized. If we know these things, can't we secure
it now to protect it and to protect anyone that is trying to get on the property."
His response was non-committal: "I expect the property to be secured if an unsafe condition exists. We will take action. Let me know if you have questions."

Yes, we have a question: Since the property is indeed unsafe, when will your department take action?

Some neighbors have suggested patrols by neighbors to walk the sidewalk and alley around the house at night until another solution is found - perhaps two shifts from 11 p.m. or midnight to 5 a.m.