Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

As the pictures suggest, we had a very successful Second Annual Pumpkin carving last Saturday. If you want to see more of these pictures, go to
Thanks to Lynn and Paco Coyle-Dominguez for the photos.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Native Plant Sale and Oktoberfest a Must Do

The Native Plant Sale at Keystone Heritage Park (4200 Doniphan in the Upper Valley) is followed by another Oktoberfest event from 3:30 until 9. Enjoy food, fine wine, premium beers. Stay for a fabulous sunset. Admission is only $10.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Wall Versus Our Environment

Mark your calendars now for a very special event: Discover Rio Bosque on Saturday morning, November 15. At the Rio Bosque Wetlands Park the once prevalent ecosystem along the Rio Grande is being restored. Unfortunately, it is in danger because of the Homeland Security wall that is now being rapidly built. (If you get the chance, drive along the border highway some day and see what is going on.) The negative impact of the wall on the environment is documented in the above video.

Health and Safety Fair

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Keep El Paso Beautiful!

Join thousands of volunteers in an effort to clean up our community!
Need tools?
No worries!
You can find them at ANY KEPB Community Tool Shed located at your nearest Fire Station!
For more information, please call Keep El Paso Beautiful at 915.546.6742.

On Saturday, October 18th:

· Clean up front and side yards and driveways
· Mow, edge, weed, gather trash
· Clean grass and weeds from sidewalks and medians
· Clean alleys – let’s all try to help with this!
· Bag or bundle all trash/debris
· Bag or bundle all trash and debris
· Take the bags to Richmond & Newman Park by 12:00 Noon

Join the official KICK OFF for PRIDE DAY
Host – Central Regional Command Center
When – Friday, October 17, 2008
Where – Grande View Park located at 3100 Jefferson
Media interviews – 4:30 pm
Official Pride Day Kick-Off Celebration – 5 to 6:30 pm
Food and Drinks provided City Representative Susie Byrd
Desserts provided by Albertsons and KEPB

Click on the Let's Get To Work Logo above!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ben Sáenz to Read at El Paso Art Museum

Cinco Puntos Press announces: "The El Paso Museum of Art Store is hosting a book reading, reception and book signing for Ben Sáenz. This event is celebrating Ben's newest bilingual children's book, A Perfect Season for Dreaming / Un tiempo perfecto para soñar. When: Saturday, October 11 @ 2 PMWhere: El Paso Museum of Art Store."

The El Paso Museum of Art is located in the Arts Festival Plaza near the Plaza theater and across from the Camino Real.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Newman Park Neighborhood Association September Board Minutes

Minutes for Newman Park Neighborhood Association Board Meeting, September 26, 2008 at Cinco Puntos Press, 701 Texas Avenue, El Paso, TX.

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

President Lynn Coyle called the meeting to order at 8:15 a.m.

Minutes of August 23, 2008 meeting were approved.

Treasurer Lee Byrd reported that we have $1095.37 in the bank of which $400 is dedicated for bench memorials. We received $500 for the Romance Latino event from the City. Our expenses for that event were $363. So we netted $137.

Board members gave feedback about the Romance Latino event attended by 230 people. Reasons given for success included getting flyers out early, pitching the event in email, having an event that attracted more families.

The Board next discussed its participation in Pride Day on October 18th beginning at 8 a.m. Lisa said that she would ask for flyers and a dumpster for the event. Lisa will also make copies of the flyer and get to distributors. Jim will talk to the President of the Rim Area Neighborhood Association, Richard Teschner, about working together to pick-up trash along Scenic Drive. The following is our calendar for the publicity for this event:

October 10 (or prior) Electronic file of Pride Day flyer to me
October 11 Hard copies of Pride Day Flyers to board members/distributors
October 18 Pride Day

There was considerable excitement when discussing the Halloween event on October 25th beginning at 4 p.m. Becky F. has volunteered to get the pumpkins again this year. Abbie and Lisa said that they would get some kits for doing face painting. Becky A. and Lisa will bring extra tables. Abbie will bring buckets and Becky A. will bring soap for washing up. Lynn and Abbie will bring some things for collecting seeds, etc. Lee will see if Bobby Byrd will read a scary story or two. We will not encourage kids to come in costume this year. As we did last year, we will promote safe trick-or-treating in the neighborhood by asking people to keep their lights turned on. Lee agreed to prepare the Halloween flyer. We will ask Sergio if he will prepare the Spanish version for this flyer. Lee will copy flyers and get to all distributors. The following is our calendar for the publicity for this event:

October 16 Deadline to complete bilingual Halloween Event flyer
October 17 (or prior) Electronic file of Halloween Event flyer to me
October 18 Hard copies of Halloween Event flyer to board members/distributors
October 25 Halloween event

The Board began discussing CDBG grants for the neighborhood. The deadline for application is in November. Different ideas for the grant were discussed: new playground equipment, a basketball court, or a natural (e.g., Texas Sage) border along Alabama. Lynn suggested that we discuss these ideas via email.

There will be a community meeting on September 30 at 6 p.m. at the Memorial Garden Center, 3105 Grant. to discuss the Wheeling Street changes and the impact of those changes on traffic on Richmond and Louisville.

Jim will follow-up with Richard Garcia about the status of new swings for the Park.

The McKee Mansion (2630 Richmond) will be auctioned off by the Trustee at the County Courthouse on October 7 at 10 am.

Meeting was adjourned a few minutes past 9 a.m.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Storm Detention Pond Gets Makeover

The storm detention pond beautification project is moving along. New trees and other plants have been planted; new sidewalks have been put in; a rock facade will add beauty to an old retention wall. Let's just hope that vandals will leave the plants alone. (After new trees were planted at Newman Park this spring, a couple were pulled out of the ground.) Let's also hope that graffiti thugs will also stay away or be caught if they commit their vile vandalism.

Changes at Wheeling and Scenic Drive

After a second meeting with neighbors, the City of El Paso traffic engineers will propose that traffic coming off of Scenic Drive onto Wheeling can be slowed down by extending the curb and rock wall to more of a 90° angle.

District 2 Representative Susie Byrd sent out this report:
"I know that this was a hot neighborhood topic so I wanted to make sure that I reported back to you on the information that was requested by the neighborhood and on the outcome of our last meeting.

Some background. For many years, the residents that live on the first two blocks of Wheeling coming off of Scenic have complained about excessive and dangerous
speeding as people drive off of Scenic. Last month, the Traffic Department presented an option to help solve the problem. They suggested that we close access on the eastbound lane of Wheeling coming off of Scenic. The solution would mean that you could go up Scenic on Wheeling but not down Wheeling from Scenic.

We had a well attended first meeting and lots of emails, questions and concerns from the neighborhood in response to that solution. Here was what was requested before we made any changes: speed data on Richmond, Louisville and Wheeling; traffic volumes on Richmond, Louisville and Wheeling; accident history on Wheeling and other options that might solve the problem.

Additional information. Based on those requests, the Traffic Department went back and gathered that information. For your review, I am attaching a document summarizing those findings. [See graphic above.] The big news was that they discovered that the speeding was primarily limited to taking the turn. On average people were taking the turn from Scenic onto Wheeling at about 26 mph, when you really want to limit turning motions to about 10 to 15 mph. This situation is made more dangerous because of the low visibility when making the turnand the steep change in elevation. As people begin to anticipate the stop sign at Kentucky, they start to slow down and are then moving at safe neighborhood speeds. They also found that there are relatively few trips on this street, about 371 eastbound trips off of Scenic. No accidents have been reported in the last seven years on this stretch.

The second solution. Based on all of this new information and based on neighborhood concerns that closing this access would add more traffic to other streets and create an inconvenience to residents of the neighborhood, the Traffic Department recommended a second option which seemed to be more acceptable to the residents at the second meeting and seems more responsive to all of the follow up emails that I received. They are suggesting that we extend the curb and the rock wall on the south side of the road so that it requires a sharper turn, more of a 90 degree angle. Right now, it is a very wide turn that doesn't require a drive to slow to take the turn. The new 90 degree angle curb would require the drive to take this turn at much lower speeds.

I wanted to make sure that all interested parties who didn't have a chance to attend the meeting had a chance to review the information and to put in their two cents. Please let me know what you think. I will gather all of the responses and submit them to Traffic on Wednesday. They can proceed fairly quickly once they get the go ahead."