Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Looking for a Christmas Miracle

Let's help another little dog find her way home for Christmas. She has no tags and she isn't chipped. She was spotted near Elm and Louisville last weekend.

If you know anything about this sweet little dog, please contact Dave Williams at 433-0991 or email him.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Snow-Covered Franklins

Avid hiker, Rosario Rivera, climbs the 1,000 Steps

Snow-covered Ocotillos

The Ridge - Ranger Peak to the north above

You will recall our recent snow storms. Here are pictures from the last storm. They were taken on the 1,000 Steps Trail and at the ridge of the Franklins between Ranger and Comanche Peaks - just above our Red Rock Canyon and "A" Mountain. The trail is accessed just on the other side of Scenic from Newman Park. It is also accessed at the end of Stanton or by Temple Mount Sinai at the end of Joyce Kenyon.

We do live in a hauntingly beautiful place - sunshine or snow.

Just go outside to enjoy it.

Mount Cristo Rey in the distance

Holiday lights below

All photos courtesy of Rosario Rivera and John Walton.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Parks and Recreation Announces Holiday Hours

Holiday Hours for Parks and Recreation

Happy Holidays

All Recreation Centers, Senior Centers, Sports Centers, City operated Daycare Centers, Aquatic Centers and the Administrative Office for the Parks and Recreation Department at City Hall will be closed on December 25 (Christmas Day) and January 1 (New Year’s Day).

Holiday Schedule for Aquatic Centers only:

All indoor pools will be open from 6:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. on December 24 and 31.

All indoor pools will have regular operating hours on December 26, 27 and January 2, and 3, 2010.

Holiday Schedule for Senior Centers only:

All Senior Centers will also be closed on December 26, 27 and January 2 and 3, 2010.

Holiday Schedule for the Parks and Recreation Daycare Centers Galatzan (650 Wallenberg) and Veterans (5301 Salem) only:

Daycare Centers will be closing at 5:00 p.m. on December 24 and December 31, 2009.

Holiday Schedule for Sports Centers

Chalio Acosta (4321 Delta St.) Nations Tobin (8831 Railroad Dr.) only:

Sports Centers will close at 5:00 p.m. on December 24 and December 31.

Sports Centers will have normal hours of operation on December 26 and 27 and January 2 and 3, 2010.

Holiday Schedule for Recreation Centers only:

All Recreation centers will be close at 5:00 p.m. on December 24 and December 31.

Recreation centers will have normal hours of operation on December 26 and January 2.

Recreation Centers will be closed on December 27 and January 3.

For more information call (915) 544-0753

Monday, December 14, 2009

You Can Still Get a Living Christmas Tree

Living tree begins to brighten the Milazzo home

You can still purchase a living Christmas Tree. They are grown at Archer Farms in La Mesa, New Mexico. Your check for $100 should be written to Keep El Paso Beautiful. City of El Paso Arborist, Brent Pearson, (whose better half runs one of the best Mexican restaurants in greater El Paso - the Little Diner) will deliver your tree and then pick it up after the holidays if you wish to donate it to the City. If you would prefer to have your tree planted at your home, just let Brent know. There will be an additional $40 fee but then you will have a beautiful Mondale pine professionally and properly planted. Mondales are drought tolerant and fast growing. They are a great tree for increasing the much needed canopy in El Paso.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

High Winds Take Toll on Newman Park Area

The wind picked up the top of this backyard deck, carried it over the roof . . .

and slammed it into this house across the street.

Work just to board and secure the house continued the day after the storm.

High winds tore through the borderland on Tuesday. The Newman Park area certainly experienced the wrath of a wind storm that brought winds of 100 m.p.h. in many places. Trees, street signs, roofs, windows and more were damaged in the Newman Park neighborhood.

Most significantly, the back deck at the Harmon home on Memphis was torn off, lifted over the house and slammed into the Morales home across the street. This "act of God" was the most dramatic sign of the power of the same wind storm that also brought down a portion of the canopy at Cohen Stadium and scattered heavy debris and artifacts all over the City.

The storm toppled this venerable 50 year plus tree on Altura.

Flying debris broke windows at this house on Savannah.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Living Christmas Trees Can Benefit KEPB Too

The picture above is a living Christmas tree that is ready for you to donate to the City after you use it to decorate your home this season. Your donation is just $100. City Arborist Brent Pearson (the other half of Canutillo's delicious Little Diner) will have his team deliver it to your home and pick it up after the holidays. It will be planted in a City park to help increase the much needed tree canopy in El Paso. If you want to keep the tree, just pay an additional $40 and Brent's team will plant it for you.

Finally, if you want your donation also to benefit Keep El Paso Beautiful, make your check out to KEPB instead of the City.

It's as simple as that.

Just call Brent at 588-1562 or 533-2342.

Living Christmas trees now add to the City canopy at a nearby park

Living Christmas trees after 20 years!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Winter Storm Brings Snow to Newman Park

Newman Park playground rests silently in the snow.

Police closed Scenic Drive yesterday afternoon as children got an early dismissal from school. All who usually commute from their work in Northeast El Paso over Trans Mountain back to their homes on the Westside made the long trek around the south end of the mountains. Some left their cars off Alabama and were rescued by friends. City Council didn't begin today until 11 a.m. Ernie, the cat, took one look at the rain and snow this morning and buried himself at the bottom of his bed at the home he shares with Lee and Bobby Byrd.

Newmanista sweeps sidewalk along Savannah.

A little snow can't deter this jogger. Newman Park is used by many for their daily exercise regimen.

A big thanks goes to Newmanista Donna Stephens for these photographs.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

City Offers Living Christmas Tree Program

A Mondale Pine watches lovingly over the home of Linda Chew and Bobby Perel

Before you run to Lowe's to buy your Christmas tree, you may want to consider a living Christmas tree. City of El Paso Arborist, Brent Pearson, has announced that his team will deliver a live 6 to 8 foot Mondale pine to your home and pick it up after the holidays to be planted in the City. The cost is just $100. For $40, his team will plant the tree on your property.

El Paso is in dire need of reforestation. Over the last several decades too many trees have been lost. More is known now about the kinds of trees that are perfect for our desert environment. The Mondale pine is known for its rapid growth and drought tolerance. It averages 3 feet of growth per year.

29 years ago David and Mandy Chew purchased a living Mondale pine for a Christmas tree and then planted it in their yard on Savannah. In 1982 they moved to their new home up the street and sold their house to David's sister, Linda, and her husband, Bobby Perel. The tree is still there and is one of the loveliest and most venerable trees not just in the Newman Park neighborhood but the entire City of El Paso.

Trees create shade that reduces our staggering energy costs during our hot summers. They help clean the air and they manage pollutants in run-offs during storms. In fact, they help minimize flooding far better than the heat-radiating cement that has taken over our urban landscape. They absorb carbon dioxide, the global warming gas.

Here is Brent Pearson's living tree announcement:

Have your Christmas Tree planted at a neighborhood Park

For $100.00 a six to eight foot living Christmas Tree will be delivered to your house and picked up after the New Year to be donated to the City of El Paso, or you can keep it and plant it in your own yard. Make this holiday season an opportunity to leave a living legacy that will last for generations


Tips on

living Christmas trees

Ÿ Delivery and Pick-up included

Ÿ They will not dry out and drop needles


Ÿ Twinkle lights work best instead of screw in bulbs

Ÿ If you want it planted at on private property, $40.00 extra



The Mondale Pine is a selection of tree known

for it’s rapid growth and drought

tolerance. Average rate of growth

is over 3 ft. per year.

This is a great opportunity for us to add much needed tree canopy to our City. Why buy a tree and throw it away, REUSE it and let it be enjoyed by others. Our goal is to have a healthy urban environment.

If interested please call :

Brent Pearson at 588-1562 or 533-2342

To find out more about the benefit of trees and to help re-forest El Paso, contact the West Texas Urban Forestry Council at 915-834-5610.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Western Refinery Promotes Scenic Sundays

View traveling west on Interstate 10

View traveling east on Interstate 10

Western Refinery is now helping to promote Scenic Sundays. A new digital billboard advertisement can be seen by motorists going west or east on I-10 near Airways.

Newman Park Neighborhood Association board member, Becky Ayala, made the display possible. She is also an environmental engineer with WR.

Judy Gutierrez, Assistant to District 2 Representative Susie Byrd, exclaimed: "This is AWESOME!"

The digital advertisement will run during some of the busiest shopping days of the year. Western Refinery will run another promotion for Scenic Sunday in another month. El Paso police have observed that, currently, the same hundred or so people walk or bicycle Scenic Drive on Sunday mornings. The Newman Park Neighborhood Association in conjunction with the District 2 office plans to do more to get the word out about Scenic Sundays to El Pasoans and those visiting the City.

Mandy Chew Sets Sights High for Science Museum

Our very own Mandy Chew is the new Executive Director of Insights El Paso Science Museum. This El Paso institution has struggled for the past few years and the Board of Directors recruited Mandy with the goal of making Insights one of the premier science museums in the United States.

Insights was established in 1980 and opened its doors of the basement of the Anson Mills building then home of the El Paso Electric Company. The museum features a permanent collection of interactive exhibits on nature and science topics ranging from electricity and optics to health and biology. Kids of all ages, and seniors too, will get a jolt of fun out of the Tesla coil that courses with 500,000 volts several times each day. The mind games are also a favorite activity for families to work on together.

The current traveling exhibit is “Giant Worlds – A voyage to the Outer Solar System.” El Paso is only the third city to host this marvelous exhibit developed by the Space Science Foundation with assistance from NASA and the National Science Foundation. Giant Worlds is filled with interactive experiences, models and spectacular murals that reveal the grandeur of these amazing planets. Visitors can learn about gravity in a simulation that assigns a mass to the visitor’s shadow and demonstrates how particles, such as those in Saturn’s spectacular ring system, interact with the shadow. They can design and launch a virtual probe into Jupiter’s crushing atmosphere and see how far their probe gets before it is destroyed. Visitors can also experiment with the properties of visible and infrared radiation and learn how scientists use light to probe phenomena like Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.

Mandy urges all Newmanistas to come and see her soon at Insights . In addition to the exhibits, Insights also hosts summer camps, sleep-overs and birthday parties.

For the holidays, Insights will be featuring a “Drop and Shop” day care for shoppers to leave their children from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, with lunch and a healthy snack provided.

The Insights is at 505 N. Santa Fe, next to City Hall and free parking is provided. You can reach Mandy by phone at 915-534-0000, Ext 20. Her email is

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

El Paso: Second Safest Big City

Just above New York City and Austin, El Paso has been ranked the second safest city in the United States - population 500,000 or above by CQ Press, the publisher of City Crime Rankings 2009 - 2010. That's progress. Last year El Paso was ranked third.

With modesty El Paso Police Officer Henry Slack gave the credit to the people of El Paso: "I think that the thanks should go to the citizens of El Paso."

Recalling the spate of vandalisms in our own neighborhood awhile back, Representative Susie Byrd put it this way: "A year or so ago, when there was a rash of criminal mischief in the neighborhood, the community and the neighborhood association got organized to stop it. They worked with the police to put an end to mischief and they sent a clear message that crimes would not be tolerated. It is communities working with police that makes El Paso safe."

CQ Press calculates the crime rankings of cities and metropolitan areas using six crime categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft. Law officials do point out that there are many different factors that affect crime rates: "population density, composition of the population, climate, economic conditions, strength of local law enforcement agencies, citizen's attitudes toward crime, cultural factors, education levels, crime reporting practices of citizens and family cohesiveness." Nevertheless, measurements of crime levels are compatible from place to place.

Click on the image below to read the 2009 Crime Rankings:

Friday, November 20, 2009

Save the Mastiffs!

Two enormous, very sweet and friendly dogs are lost and currently waiting for their owner to call. Neither has tags and they were wandering in Newman Park.

They are both mastiffs - probably 135 to 150 pounds each with big block heads.

If you know anything, please call Lynn Coyle at her office 915-532-5546. You can also email me. Lynn cannot hold the dogs for long so time is of the essence.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Patricia Chew Seeks Election as Probate Judge

Probably most of us have seen the "Chew Mobile" in the neighborhood for awhile now. Newmanista, Pat Chew, is running for Judge of El Paso County Probate Court #1. Pat's law firm, Patricia B. Chew and Associates, P.C., is considered to be one of the best in the practice of immigration law. Pat's professional resumé includes a Juris Doctorate from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law.

Pat is the sister of Judges David Chew and Linda Chew - both of whom are also Newmanistas. She has two children: Bailey and Spencer.

She is a member of Texas Women Lawyers, the El Paso County Democratic Party, the Teamsters Union, the Autism Society of America, El Paso Women's Bar Association, LULAC, and the Mexican American Bar Association of El Paso.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

You Are Invited to a "Ghostly" Party

Our good buddy, Jackson Polk, sent us this press release:



Party is open to the public on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009

El Paso, Texas (Nov. 4, 2009) – Capstone Productions Inc. announces the DVD release of its latest film, “Ghost Stories of El Paso, Vol. 2,” at Monteleone’s Restaurant, 3023 Gateway West from 2- 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009.

The new DVD is being released just in time for the holiday gift-giving season. At the release party, El Pasoans will be able to purchase the new film for $22.00 plus tax. Producer Jackson Polk and psychic Diana Calamia will also be on hand to sign the new DVDs, and to tour the haunted restaurant, which is featured in the new film.

“Ghost Stories of El Paso, Vol. 2,” presents El Paso history as only spirits can tell it. Viewers go on ghost tours with psychics who talk to spirits – and the spirits talk back – at some of El Paso’s most historic locations.

The film is a follow up to Capstone Production’s successful 2008 film “Ghost Stories of El Paso, Vol. 1." The new one-hour film, “Vol. 2," presents all-new stories and visits more locations, including the Ysleta Mission and a mineshaft in the Franklin Mountains.

“Ghost Stories of El Paso, Vol. 2" goes inside a haunted building on Fort Bliss, and finds ghosts at the L&J Café and Monteleone’s Restaurant. In San Elizario, a psychic confronts a legend about Billy the Kid and the local jail. The program also visits Concordia Cemetery, the Magoffin Home and Sunset Heights Grocery.

“Ghost Stories of El Paso, Vol. 2" is not intended to prove or disprove ghost stories, but to explore some of the legends and folk tales that are a part of El Paso’s rich history.

The public is invited to attend the DVD release party of “Ghost Stories of El Paso, Vol. 2" at Monteleone’s Restaurant, 3023 Gateway West between Piedras and Copia. The cross street is San Marcial. Street parking is available.

DVDs of “Ghost Stories of El Paso, Volume 2" will be available for purchase in stores in El Paso and New Mexico beginning Nov. 23.

For information and a video clip of “Ghost Stories of El Paso, Vol. 2," go online to, where you can also buy 11 different DVDs about El Paso heritage. Capstone Productions will ship DVDs anywhere in the U.S. and Canada.

You can get more information at

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Living Statue Is the Hit of Halloween

Living statue "welcomes" Trick-or-Treaters to Ho Baron's Home

With its surrealistic statues keeping watch over the corner of Piedras and Aurora, the home of sculptor Ho Baron is the favorite of trick-or-treaters each year. Ho estimates that nearly 1,000 people visited his house this year for Halloween. The visitors were greeted by a living statue, Eric Myers, a mime from the El Paso theater group, KIDS-N-CO. Eric worked on his costume for days and then "performed" on Halloween night for 2-1/2 hours.

Ho told me that the "living statue concept is known in larger cities but, as far as I know, new to EP." Indeed, there is an annual competition in the Netherlands and an amateur group in Laguna Beach, California entertains people during the city's Festival of the Arts. The Living Statue Company in the UK performs at all events: weddings, parties and corporate events.

Paul Wegener's living statue in his classic German Expressionist 1920 silent movie, Der Golem, still arouses awe and fear.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Traffic Calming for Altura

At a recent meeting at Austin High School, City traffic engineer, Kimberly Forsyth, presented a plan to neighbors for calming traffic on Altura through the City's Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP).

The NTMP has several objectives: improve unsafe conditions; provide protection and relief from disproportionate increases in traffic; provide a program format that is responsive to all neighborhoods; incorporate community preferences into design and operation of neighborhood streets.

To be eligible for a NTMP grant, a street must have an 85th percentile speed of 35 mph or higher and have high traffic volumes in a low density (residential) area. Being a bus or emergency vehicle route or having pedestrian facilities (schools, parks) nearby are also considered.

Click on image to enlarge

Altura ranked number one out of 40 citywide applications eligible for physical traffic calming. It has high daily volumes of traffic, has had 3 reported collisions in the past 4 years, and typically sees speeds above 35 mph.

Click on image to enlarge

Traffic engineers propose several traffic calming solutions for Altura: traffic circles at Raynor and Altura and Myles and Altura as well as curb extensions at Byron and Russell.

Click on image to enlarge

Ms. Forsyth called traffic circles the "Cadillacs of traffic calming measures". They slow speeding, reduce the chance of collisions and are attractive. Curb extensions reduce roadway width curb to curb and benefit pedestrian activity at midblock and intersection crossings.

The proposal will now go to engineering for drawing. It will still take months before the entire project is completed.

Not all neighbors have been happy with recent traffic calming measures in the area. A curb extension at Scenic Drive and Wheeling does slow down vehicles turning downhill off Scenic Drive onto Wheeling. However, according to one neighbor, motorists now increase their speed even more after making the turn. What is needed in his opinion are additional stop signs at the corner of Dakota and Wheeling. "The curbs that the City installed have led to neighbors (including me) narrowly avoiding having head-on collisions." Neighbors worry that the City won't act until there is a serious accident.

(All images above were part of the slide show presented by Kimberly Forsyth at Austin High School 10/27/09.)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Newmanista Conquers the Longhorn Ironman 70.3 Triathlon

Gabriela Gallegos radiates after a 70.3 mile race!

70.3 does not refer to the latest version of a software program. Rather it is the total miles that one endures in a triathlon such as the one recently held in Austin, Texas on October 25th. First one swims for 1.2 miles, then bicycles for 56 miles, and finally runs for 13.1 miles! I would be good for a few yards of swimming before the guys with the gurney haul me out, work on my body while a priest with a purple stole slowly shakes his head and makes the sign of the cross over my blue, adipose anatomy.

Not so with Newmanista athlete, Gabriela "Gabby" Gallegos, who conquered the Longhorn Ironman 70.3 with an official time of 6 hours and 40 minutes! "The course was challenging but great," she told me. "I'm definitely looking forward to doing another next year."

Gabriela, an attorney and daughter of 388th District Court Judge, Patricia Macias, has also begun organizing a sprint-distance triathlon for El Paso, tentatively scheduled for August 29, 2010. This event, which will be produced by Race El Paso, will be sponsored by the El Paso Triathlon Club as well as several other organizations. As part of organizing the sprint-distance triathlon for El Paso, Gabby has become a certified race director with the U.S. Triathlon Club following special training in Salt Lake City. She plans on making the El Paso race special by giving participants more recognitions and by making it a truly "green" event by using the resources of Athletes for a Fit Planet.

Gabby is not just an outstanding athlete, but a reputable scholar. She is a graduate of Cornell University and holds a Masters of Public Policy and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from UC Berkeley. She is an attorney in one of the oldest and largest law firms in the country: Vinson and Elkins.

Congratulations to our very own, Gabriela Gallegos, for her accomplishment at the triathlon in Austin and for bringing greater opportunities for fitness in her hometown of El Paso.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Flu Prevention Tips

Here are what seem to be common sense tips for flu prevention. Gargling with a salt solution is among the tips to minimize proliferation of flu virus. A friend who is a nurse suggested this recipe:
Isotonic salt water solution: one teaspoon of salt, one teaspoon baking soda, mix well in 2 cups of filtered water. Solution is good for about a week. If it gets cloudy before that, throw it out, rinse container with hot water and make new. This works not only against H1N1 but against any virus that first takes hold in the throat/nasal passages. I bought cheap travel containers in different colors for each member of our family and set them on the bathroom vanity. Each of us is gargling with the solution and swabbing the nostirls at least once a day. This deters the virus from proliferating in the throat and nostrils. My daughter has 3 friends at school who have been out with confirmed cases of H1N1 and so far she hasn't come down with it. Perhaps this little hygiene exercise is paying off so I wanted to pass it on.

Of course, see your health professional if you do begin to have flu symptoms. Stay home so you don't spread the virus. And, remember, don't blame the pig:

Friday, October 30, 2009

Newmanistas Prepare for Halloween

Ghosts haunt the Milazzo's home on Altura

Newman Park Neighborhood Association Vice-President, Becky Friesenhahn, is getting ready to pick-up 80 pumpkins for tomorrow afternoon's pumpkin carving at Newman Park from 3 to 5 p.m. Board member, Rebecca Ayala, is gathering paint brushes. All kids 17 and under will be able to carve or paint funny or scary faces.

A mysterious creature awaits trick-or-treaters at 2830 Aurora

For the fourth year in a row, surreal sculptor, Ho Baron, plans to have a living statue (a stationary mime) to greet trick-or-treaters tomorrow night from 7 to 9 p.m. Mr. Baron's tribal and surreal, cosmic and baroque sculptures at 2830 Aurora are always evocative of the magic of Halloween. Each Halloween, Ho's home attracts over 500 kids.

A ghastly scene is sure to scare visitors to 2814 Frankfort

Spooky castle at 2535 Savannah

Monday, October 26, 2009

Annual Pumpkin Carving on Saturday

Be sure to come to Newman Park for the pumpkin carving at 3 pm. First come, first served. And wear your costume, if you like. We'd love to see what everyone is wearing.

The El Paso Police Department would also like everyone to have a very happy and safe Halloween. To ensure this, they are reminding El Pasoans of some very important safety information. On Halloween, there will be many young children in and around the roadways. Dark costumes, dark streets, and motorists pose the greatest risk to trick-or-treaters. The following are some tips that can help ensure a safe and enjoyable Halloween for everyone.

1. Parents should accompany their children at all times. Do not leave your children unattended or unsupervised, especially younger children.

2. Children should wear costumes that are visible in the dark. Light colored costumes are preferable but if the costume is dark, some kind of reflective material or tape should be used.

3. Carry some form of light, preferably a flashlight.

4. Check your children’s candy before they eat it. Watch out for candy that appears to have been tampered with and be aware of any home made or unpacked treats.

5. Watch for traffic. Do not let your children run in and out of the street, keep them on the sidewalks.

6. If you're driving, watch out for children darting into traffic. Slow down especially in residential areas. Drive with extreme caution, because dark costumes may be very hard to see.

7. Respect those who do not wish to participate. If the front porch light is off, chances are they are not giving out candy.

8. Have children stay within the neighborhood, only visiting homes you know.

Parents should also remember that there are many other safe alternatives such as organized Halloween parties and Haunted Houses, many of which are sponsored by local schools, churches, businesses or other organizations. Find out about these activities and keep them in mind as a better and safer alternative.

Have a great Halloween and see you at Newman Park at 3 pm!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Our Own Lisa D Takes Over Marketing for EP Opera

Lisa with son, Louie

Newmanista Lisa Degliantoni was recently hired by the El Paso Opera as their new Marketing Director. A press release from LARGetc gives her duties and background:

"She will oversee daily advertising, marketing and publicity duties for the opera company while pursuing new initiatives in the arts and education in order to further the opera's connection with the community . . .

"Degliantoni joins the opera after serving as Editor-in-Chief of El Paso Media Group, where she helped guide the editorial and marketing team in the formation of the media group. With a background in media and publishing, her resume includes titles such as Vogue, New York Magazine, Psychology Today and local companies KTSM and Stanton Street Technology Group."

Lisa is an active member of the Board of the Newman Park Neighborhood Association, and lends her editorial talents and organizational skills to help make our neighborhood a great place to live. On many afternoons, she can be seen walking up to the park with her two boys, Miles and Louie.

Congratulations on your new job, Lisa D!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Great Southwest Book Fair

As if Halloween wasn't exciting enough—what with pumpkin carving in the afternoon at Newman Park and trick or treating that night in the 'hood—there's the Great Southwest Book Fair at the Main Library downtown. Among the great writers and storytellers assembled, you'll find three published by El Paso's own Cinco Puntos Press: Claudia Martinez (The Smell of Old Lady Perfume), Xavier Garza (Charro Claus & The Tejas Kid; Lucha Libre: The Man in the Silver Mask), and Joe Hayes (La Llorona, El Cucuy and many more). Start your Halloween out with great books, great writers and great ghost-y stories!

Sweet, Lost Male Dog

Click on image to enlarge

The Cooks report that they are keeping a very sweet, white, male dog at their home at 2420 Louisville. The dog is lost and has no tags. Gregory tells us that "he is shy and scared." If you know to whom this precious little animal belongs, please call 630-2665.

Let's find his home!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

McKee House Gets Historic Protection

Yesterday City Council approved an ordinance placing an historic overlay on the McKee House, located at 2630 Richmond Avenue on the corner of Richmond and Louisiana just across the street from Newman Park.

Newman Park Neighborhood Association President Lynn Coyle was overjoyed:
"We are thrilled that historic protection for the McKee home has been finalized. Without the leadership of Representative Byrd's office and the support of board members, neighbors and key city personnel, this would not have happened. What a great partnership! With historic protection we know that, no matter who ultimately becomes the owner of the McKee home, its historical integrity will be protected."
The historic overlay process was lengthy. It included prior approval by the Development Coordinating Committee, the Historic Landmark Commission and the City Plan Commission.

District 2 Representative Susie Byrd said: "It's a big step in preserving one of our neighborhood's most important treasures."

Further steps will require a conversation with the bank's lawyer to approve a sale. It will also be helpful for the bank to divulge to Byrd's office and the neighborhood association what its plans are. "There are willing buyers," Byrd explained. "What is needed is a buyer who will buy and fix up the property."

Wear a Costume and Run for Keep El Paso Beautiful

Click image to enlarge

Dress up in your favorite Halloween costume and join the Clean and Scary Run this Sunday, October 25 at 5 p.m. Run begins at 3233 N. Mesa (Rudolph Plaza). The event is sponsored by Keep El Paso Beautiful.

Executive Director Katherine Palafox encourages all fun loving El Pasoans to participate: "Don't miss this!" she told me. "The clean and scary run has become an El Paso Halloween tradition."

Register and find more information online.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Newmanistas Participate in Great American Clean-up

Rueben Friesenhahn carefully checks painting by his parents, Becky and Michael

Newmanistas took advantage of the Great American Clean-up on Saturday to get rid of junk around their homes and to spruce up Newman Park.

As always the roll-off at the Park was well utilized by many in the neighborhood. Some pitched in to sweep sand off walkways, rake the wood chips in the new swing area, and remove graffiti. Board members Becky Friesenhahn and Jim Tolbert with help from Becky's family repainted two of the chess boards on the recently installed tables.

The Newman Park efforts fit prominently in an El Paso Times story in which both Becky and Jim were quoted.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Our Beloved Chihuahuas: Azucar's Pups

OMG! Chihuahuas breed! But the pups are adorable. Pictured above are Azucar's pups. Azucar it the beloved Chihuahua of Newmanista Sergio Guerrero, a teacher at Eastwood High School.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Houston Elementary To Have Dual Language Program

Below is District 2 Representative Susie Byrd has passed on some exciting happenings at Houston Elementary. The emphases are mine. Note the important meetings regarding Dual Language, the request for more Partners in Education and the solicitation for Price's Dairy product caps:

I wanted to check in with you re: the Save Houston efforts. There is lots of momentum and lots of activity with the goal being to increase enrollment at the school in order to justify keeping it open. Anything you can do to help in getting out the word would be much appreciated.

Dual Language. The most important news is that the District has agreed to invest in a dual language program at Houston. Dual language is a great attraction for parents who are interested in making sure that their kids are fully fluent and able to read and write in both Spanish and English, regardless of their first language. I think this will be a great magnet for Houston and is just what we need to really get folks interested in sending their children to Houston. In order to promote this and to let the parents know more about dual language and its benefits for their children, Houston is hosting two important meetings:
1. Wednesday, October 21st at 6 PM at Houston Elementary School,
presentation to parents about the benefits of Dual Language Education. The district is sending out a blast throughout the district to let parents know about this.
2. Saturday, November 7 at 8:30 AM at Houston Elementary. This will be an open house. The district is targeting parents who have transferred out for this meeting but we invite other parents who might be interested. Is there anyone who might be able to help with coffee and fruit or donuts?

Partners in Education. The committee working on this agreed to help find more
Partners in Education to support the school. If you know of any businesses in the area that want to help out, we are looking for support. Please email me any ideas or contacts you might have. We are focused on: trying to fund more programming in arts and culture (artists or art organizations who can enhance programming) and improving the campus (landscaping, playground equipment, etc).

Give Em Five Price's program. The school is going to ramp up their Give Em Five program where students bring in caps from Price's products and Price's rebates an amount per cap to the school. Could you let your respective constituents know that they can donate their caps to the school also and it is an easy way to help

City Council Representative, District 2

Every time that I drive by Houston Elementary, it is obvious to me what a valuable property it is to the school district and the neighborhood. It would be a pity to shut down the buildings and the playing fields. Parents, stakeholders and neighbors are so enthusiastic to save this school.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wyler Tramway: One of Newman Park's Gateways to the Franklins

The Newman Park neighborhood has a number of ways close by to access the Franklin Mountains. Certainly Scenic Drive's availability especially on Scenic Sundays (7 to Noon) is a great way to enjoy the scenery and geology that the south Franklins have to offer. McKelligon Canyon just north of our neighborhood gives easy access to the beauty of our mountains and a quick way to gain access to the ridge itself and one of the best hikes in the mountains along the Ron Coleman Trail.

Another favorite is the Wyler Tramway. Those who want to enjoy just the scenery can use the tramway to reach Ranger Peak. There is a gate at the peak that allows access to other trails along the ridge and over the mountain. Rangers are available to give directions.

Simply put, getting outdoors and into the mountains is easy for Newmanistas.

Check out the following hikes at Celebration of Our Mountains: There will be two Ron Coleman hikes - the first on October 10 and another on November 1. There is a difficult trail from the parking lot at the Wyler Tramway to the ridge. It is called the Directissimo. On October 18, there will a hike to the top of the ridge and back. On October 29, there will be a hike up the Directissimo which connects with the Ridge and Tram Trails. Hikers will end up at the station and take the tram back down. Finally, on October 20, there will be a nice guided hike in McKelligon Canyon.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Joe Hayes at the Bookery on Sunday

Click on image to enlarge

One of America's premier storytellers, Joe Hayes is published by our friends at Cinco Puntos Press. From their emailed newsletter we learned:
At 2:30, Joe will start telling those wonderful stories he's been famous for all these years. Before and after, you can get him to sign your books. A wonderful chance to bring your kids and grandkids and give them the opportunity to hear one of the world's greatest storytellers."
Go here for directions to the Bookery.