Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Newmanistas Celebrate Christmas

Celebrating Christmas just comes naturally for Newmanistas. Starting with a Christmas party and caroling, they then gathered to assemble and deliver luminarias.

Last Wednesday, December 21st, many Newman Park neighborhood folk got together at the home of Becky and Michael Friesenhahn for hot chocolate, cookies, Santa and storytelling. Afterwards they went from house to house caroling.

Eddie Holland accompanies caroling practice on his flute. Association Ex-President, Lynn Coyle, conducted the Newmanista troubadours, the envy of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Santa arrives! Many thought that Santa was a dead-ringer for NPNA Treasurer, Robert Taylor.


Just before going caroling

On Saturday, Christmas Eve morning, Newmanistas gathered to assemble and then deliver luminarias. The day before, nearly 3 inches of snow fell in the El Paso area. With light snow and rain on the 24th, some families elected to light luminarias on Christmas Day.

The Stephens Family gets ready to take luminarias to a customer in Mountain Park.

Kathleen Harmon gives instructions as Association President, Jim Tolbert, and Carol Culver listen.

Putting sand into the bags

Visiting his great-grandmother, Margaret Tolbert, 2-year-old Anders Lindstrom of Salinas, California neatly puts candles into bags.

Christmas cat Copernicus checks out the living Christmas Tree from the Pearson Tree Farm.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Neighborhoods May See Increase in Parking Citations

Code Inspectors to Issue Parking Citations

El Paso, TexasCode Enforcement inspectors now have the authority to issue parking tickets, the City of El Paso Environmental Services Department announced.

An ordinance amendment to Title 12 adopted earlier this month by City Council empowers inspectors to issue parking citations. Fines will vary depending on the parking violation. Before the change only police officers could issue citations for all parking violations.

Though the ordinance amendment is now effective, the Environmental Services Department will provide a short grace period before the citations are issued to allow for public outreach.

Code enforcement inspectors will begin issuing parking citations in January 2012.  In the meanwhile, they will continue to issue warning notices for parking violations while patrolling neighborhoods within the city limits.

“Every day our code enforcement inspectors encounter parking violations and they leave warning notices. Unfortunately, sometimes notices are not enough to change public behavior,” Environmental Services Director Ellen Smyth said. “Now, our inspectors will be able to respond to the violations by ticketing vehicles, particularly those obstructing the public’s access to sidewalks, blocking driveways or parked on unapproved surfaces, such as lawns.”

The public may report violations by calling 915-599-6290. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

2012 Quality of Life Bond

The City of El Paso is soliciting ideas for the 2012 Quality of Life Bond. You can find more information on the bottom of the City's home page. Representative Susie Byrd wrote this to all of us:


The City of El Paso wants to bring a Quality of Life Bond Election to the voters for consideration in November of 2012. We are in the process of soliciting ideas and priorities from constituents about the projects they would like to be considered for the bond election. As you know, we fund the repair of existing infrastructure (streets, facilities, etc) using Certificates of Obligation that are authorized by the City Council. For new quality of life projects that would require new capital and new investment in operations, we take those items to the voters for their approval. The last Quality of Life bond initiative was authorized by the voters in 2004.

There is a lot of demand out there for new projects so the next couple of months will be spent prioritizing those projects and determining what projects will be included on the list for the voter’s consideration. Can you take some time to either email me your ideas or provide your comments online at www.elpasotexas.gov (there is a submission form and additional information about the bond election towards the middle of our home page)?

It is our hope to be able to fund a signature project for Downtown, one that will flip the switch for Downtown and our economy. There are several ideas floating around including: an arena, a trolley project, further improvements in the streetscape of Downtown... What do you think? What else should be considered?

There will also be new projects made throughout the city to improve the quality of life in neighborhoods. I’m hoping the focus for these dollars will be in building new parks, recreational facilities and libraries for those neighborhoods that are underserved. District 2 residents, please give me some ideas about priorities for our district. I’ve been cataloguing requests over the years, waiting for this very moment. I’ll need your help figuring out what needs to get on the list.

District 2 proposals listed in order of how often I get requests are:

  • Rec center towards the southern part of the district to serve neighborhoods between Grandview Park and Memorial Park
  • Soccer fields throughout district, but particularly in Lower Dyer neighborhood, maybe a soccer complex on Airport land
  • New park at Radford (PSB purchased the land in this area that was identified as having inadequate park access and is willing to let us use the part that they don’t need as a park)
  • Pave remaining alleys
  • Skate park towards southern part of the district
  • Quiet Zone in Five Points neighborhood
  • Trowbridge street improvements to slow traffic
  • Convert Monroe and Van Buren to two way traffic to slow traffic

So let me know what you know. I’ll keep you posted as the process unfolds.

Hope all is well.

Susie Byrd

City Council Representative, District 2

Winter Tree Tips from WTUFC Dec. 15

Click on image to enlarge.

Map to library.

For more information about purchasing living Christmas trees, go here.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cindy Milazzo Art on Display at Titovets Art Show and Sale

Cindy Milazzo and Lyuba Titovets

Yet another way to buy locally for the holidays is buying work done by our local artists. If you really want to get local, then know that Newmanista and Newman Park Neighborhood Association Board member, Cindy Milazzo, will be exhibiting and selling some of her art at the upcoming exhibition and sale of art by more than twenty students of the Titovets Art School of Alexander and Lyuba Titovets.

The sale is this Thursday, December 8, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the One for Life Ministries Church on 1060 Doiniphan Park Circle, Suite F behind the Vista Quality Market on Doniphan and Sunland Park.

Painting by Marina Savitsky, mother of Lyuba Titovets. Marina's work has been shown in many exhibits, including a one-woman show this year at the Chamisal gallery and at the Crossland Gallery downtown.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Living Christmas Trees!

Click on image to enlarge.

You can also donate the tree to be planted at Newman Park or another City of El Paso park. Just ask Brent for details when you call. Of course, it will be great to have more trees planted at homes in our neighborhood.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Newmanistas Order Your Luminarias Now!

Click to enlarge.

You can also download and print a file from here:

Luminarias Flyer 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

City to "Fix" Memorial Park Tennis Courts

Recently the City of El Paso finished re-doing the tennis courts at Memorial Park. The courts were in desperate need of repair. Unfortunately, the work done on them was sub-standard and frequent tennis players began to complain about the poor quality of the courts. Now the City is fixing the situation. In an email to Neighborhood Association Presidents, Representative Susie Byrd wrote:

Please share [message from Alan Shubert, City Engineer below] with your association. This project was mismanaged and not built appropriately. The City is fixing. They are also correcting for the mismanagement to make sure it does not happen again.

Also, I’ve received some complaints from neighbors in the immediate vicinity about the fact that people can turn on the lights and that some folks are staying out there past the time the park closes. We are fixing that too. There will be a timer that shuts down the lights at 10pm.


Here is Alan Shubert's email message to Debbie Hamlyn, Assistant City Manager, regarding the Memorial Park tennis courts:

The Engineering and Construction Management Dept. and the Parks and Recreation Dept. have been working since early November on issues that have arisen with the installation of the new tennis courts at Memorial park. In the time since we were advised about the problems with the court construction we met with independent professional engineers, contractors and suppliers to investigate what alternatives were available to resolve the problems. They made several suggestions which we took into consideration in deciding on the best approach. Subsequently, we looked for procurement options to allow us to hire a contractor in a timely manner.

The tennis courts will be overlaid with 2” of HMAC (Hot Mix Asphaltic Concrete), separated from the concrete and expansion joints with a geotextile fabric. We have chosen Hellas, a nationally experienced firm in the construction and re-construction of tennis courts to perform the work. They have built many successful projects in the City of El Paso for EPISD, YIST, Ft. Bliss, and recently competed one at Clint. They are scheduled to begin work in early January. The duration required for the work is 8 weeks. The first two to three weeks will involve the placement and compaction of the asphalt. A four week period of no activity is necessary, to allow volatile gases in the asphalt to evaporate so they can come back in and place the acrylic and color layers. Play will be allowed to resume in early March.

I apologize for the delay, but the logistics have been difficult to work out with the holiday and the end of the year approaching. I will be happy to meet with each of you to discuss further if you desire. Please forward this to anyone else who might be interested

R. Alan Shubert, P.E., City Engineer

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Luminarias by the Lake

Click on image to enlarge.

Here's something that Newmanistas can really enjoy: Luminarias by the Lake!

Keystone Heritage Park is a great place to visit, enjoy the garden, bird watch and see the wetlands. It has archaeological and historical significance. It can use your support.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Buy Locally for the Holidays

Festivals, bazaars and farmers markets are great places to find local crafts and goodies for holiday presents.

There seems to be a real effort to encourage American consumers to buy locally during the upcoming holidays. “Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition” is the subject of an email that has gone viral and is being picked up by web sites and blogs of all varieties and persuasions. The opening paragraph reads:

“As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!”

If you haven’t gotten the message in your e-mail, read it here.

Here are some suggestions for buying locally for this Christmas:

Newmanistas, Bobby and Lee Byrd, are the owners of Cinco Puntos Press. They publish books for all ages including a new one by daughter, Susie Byrd, and candidate for U.S. Congress, Beto O’Rourke. Their book, Dealing Death and Drugs, was the subject of an EP Times story this morning. Cinco Puntos is located at 701 Texas Avenue. You will find more than just books there including Cactus Mary soap. Neighbor Mary Fountaine makes her all natural, cold process soaps by hand right here in the hood. You can buy from her online as well.

Dr. David Williams, our neighbor and podiatrist, manages a super web site with a cyber store – the Runnin’ Bunion, where you will find help for your feet whether you are a runner, marathoner, hiker or walker. You will remember Dr. Dave’s daughter, Lindsey, who led an effort to collect shoes for the El Paso Rescue Mission.

Buy gift certificates from El Paso eatery icons: Kiki’s and House of Pizza.

For more suggestions for buying locally this holiday season, get a copy of the El Paso Scene or visit it online. You'll find a list of bazaars and fairs on their Round-Up page. You can get a list of local El Paso businesses at Homegrown El Paso. Do check out Craig’s List for El Paso.

Also for just living more sustainably, check out the El Paso Freecycle Group. It’s part of the Freecycle Network, a “grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and thus keeping good stuff out of landfills.”

Winter and Holiday Safety Tips

EPPD Officer Henry Slack gives some great tips for safety during the winter and holiday season:

EL PASO, TEXASThe El Paso Police Department wants everyone to have a safe Winter and upcoming Holiday Season. As a reminder here are some safety tips to keep in mind.

At Home:

  • Be sure to lock your doors and windows when you leave your home.
  • Do not display holiday gifts where they can be seen from a window or doorway.
  • Leave some lights on.
  • Leave a radio on.
  • Leave drapes/curtains in a normal position.
  • Mark your valuables with your driver’s license number.
  • Pickup mail and newspapers.
  • Never give information about your home over the telephone.
  • Always call police to report any suspicious activity.

While Shopping:

  • Always keep your children close to you.
  • Do not shop alone.
  • Never take more money than you need to make your purchases.
  • Do not flash your money when paying for items.
  • Pay with a check card or credit card.
  • Be aware of you surroundings.
  • Do not leave any purchases or purses unattended.
  • Do not overburden yourself with packages.
  • Carry your purse close to your body.

Your car:

  • Lock your vehicle.
  • Use any antitheft devices.
  • Do not leave any packages or valuables inside the vehicle.
  • Approach your vehicle with your keys out and ready.
  • Park in well lighted areas.
  • Keep your vehicle in proper working order.
  • If something seems wrong, get help from security or call the police.

Outside Activities:

  • Dress appropriate to weather conditions and type of activity.
  • If Walking, Running, or Riding a Bike, wear reflective of light colored clothing.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Obey all traffic laws.
  • Don’t let yourself become distracted.
  • Hiking – notify individuals of intended route, estimated length of trip and expected return time.
  • Be prepared for inclement weather.
  • Be aware of individuals walking, running, and biking during the cooler weather
  • Don’t drink and drive.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.

20% Discount for Garbage Services for Seniors and the Disabled

Here's an important press release from our City's Environmental Services Department:

Senior/Disabled Garbage Discount Program

Deadline to Renew Applications is Dec. 15

El Paso, Texas – Senior and disabled citizens interested in continuing to participate in a discount program for solid waste fees must file a new application by December 15, 2011, the City of El Paso Environmental Services announced today.

The program offers a 20 percent discounted fee to people 65 years of age or older and to those who meet the program’s 100 percent disability requirement. Annual re-enrollment is required. Customers currently receiving a senior/disabled discount, who do not renew their applications by the deadline will be dropped from the program.

Applications for returning customers and for new applicants are available online at: www.elpasotexas.gov/environmental_services/senior_disabled.asp. Applications are also available at the following locations:

· Municipal Service Center, 7968 San Paulo. Hours: from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

· El Paso Water Utilities Customer Service Center, 6400 Boeing. Hours: 8 a.m.to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

· City of El Paso Senior Citizen Centers. Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

*Sacramento Center, 1800 Byron

*Eastside, 3200 Fierro

*Fr. Martinez Center, 9311 Alameda

*Polly Harris, 650 Wallenberg

*Sacramento, 3134 Jefferson

*San Juan Center, 700 N. Glenwood

*South El Paso, 600 S. Ochoa

*Washington Park, 4203 Paisano

*Wellington Chew, 4430 Maxwell

  • City of El Paso Libraries. Library branch hours vary.

*Armijo, 620 E. Seventh

*Clardy Fox, 5515 Robert Alva

*Dorris Van Doren, 551 Redd

*Esperanza Acosta Moreno, 12480 Pebble Hills

*Irving Schwartz, 1865 Dean Martin

*Jenna Welch and Laura Bush Community, 6701 S. Desert

*Judge Marquez, 610 N. Yarbrough

*José Cisneros Cielo Vista, 1300 Hawkins

*Main (Downtown), 501 N. Oregon

*Memorial Park, 3200 Copper

*Richard Burges, 9600 Dyer

*Westside, 125 Belvidere

*Ysleta, 9321 Alameda

Applications and supporting documentation may be returned to the Environmental Services Department in-person, via fax at 621-6711 or by mail at:

City of El Paso Environmental Services Department

Attn: Senior Discount Applications

7968 San Paulo

El Paso, TX 79907

For more information, please call (915) 621-6700.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Phainopepla Makes Home in Our Hood

Newmanista and top photographer, Donna Stephens, took these pictures of a Phainopepla, a bird seen around our neighborhood and in El Paso. In an email, Donna wrote:


This little guy was being chased by a mockingbird this afternoon. I figured you would know this bird. Lee and I thought it was a Texas Cardinal if there is such a bird.

He is still out there flying back and forth between our house and the electric wires and still being chased by the mocking bird.

Nice afternoon today for outdoor activities we sure are lucky in our little corner of Far West Texas/New Mexico.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

No Pet Food Bags

Click on image to enlarge.

This goes double for food bags for Chihuahuas!

Districting Commission Changes Date

Click image to enlarge.

If you are interested in giving input regarding the redistricting of our City Council districts and planned to attend the meeting on November 16th, note the change to November 30th.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ed Holland Plays the Downtown Art Market

Newmanista, Eddie Holland (r), plays at the Downtown Art Market.
Photo by Vanessa M. Feldman, El Paso Times via Facebook

Ed Holland is not just a great English teacher, but an accomplished musician who plays in El Paso's charming Celtic group, the San Patricios. For more about the new Downtown Art Market and to read the El Paso Times story, go here and see below.

Click to enlarge.

Help Choose New District Boundaries

Click to enlarge.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Carving Out a Niche: NPNA Offers Wholesome Family Halloween Event

Santiago Dominguez carefully carves his Jack-o-Lantern

Comments from friends and neighbors and even passer-bys were all pretty much the same: "It's great," they all agreed, "that there is a group that still puts on wholesome activities for kids and families at Halloween." The Newman Park Neighborhood Association annual pumpkin carving is just that: wholesome . . . and fun. "Thanks for doing this year after year," said more than one parent.

Many people just dropped by to purchase pumpkins. Others stayed to carve with their children. Many of the scarecrows were sold before the event and now there are 4 left. "The scary ones got purchased," Robert Taylor said. He and Catherine Bachtold and Sally Sauli got together to make scarecrows this year. The 4 left will make great fall and Thanksgiving yard decorations. Just contact Treasurer Robert Taylor to purchase your Autumn/Thanksgiving yard scarecrow decoration.

Perfect Autumn/Thanksgiving yard decorations

Also on sale were Fighting Chihuahua T-Shirts. Someone purchased a T-Shirt to send to a sister in Chicago. She's a Chihuahua lover - God bless her. Her Chihuahua was entered into a dog race along with the likes of Great Danes. Who won? Her fighting Chihuahua!

Nellie Avalos answers a question about Code Compliance as Cynthia Gonzalez of Environmental Services listens.

The carving followed a short but well-attended Association General meeting. Cynthia Gonzalez and Nellie Avalos from the City discussed Code Compliance issues with twenty-five members of the Association.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Get Your Fighting Chihuahua T-Shirt While Supplies Last

Fighting Chihuahua T-Shirts will be on sale this Saturday (October 22) during the pumpkin carving from 10 to Noon at Newman Park. Some shirts have a full front design with or without the zip code on the back of the shirt. Others have a simple chest plate design - again with or without the zip code. Shirts are $10 each. You can purchase one at the park or use the simple gold PayPal Donate button at the top of the right hand column of this blog. Just put your order specifics in the "Purpose" field. (For example, 1-Large Children's Full Front No Zip Code)

You are looking at the perfect stocking stuffer so get one while supplies last.

The T-Shirts currently in our inventory:

Children's Full Front Design

Large 4 no zip code
Medium 1 with 79930
Medium 1 no zip code
Small 4 no zip code

Adult Full Front Design

Medium 2 no zip code
Medium 1 with 79930
Large 1 with 79930
Large 2 no zip code
X-Large 4 no zip code

Adult Chest Plate Design

Large 2 no zip code
X-Large 3 no zip code
X-Large 1 with 79930

Monday, October 24, 2011

Scarecrows Seek Homes for Halloween

"Roy Rogers" and "Dale Evans" are looking for a home for Halloween.

NPNA Board members were busy on Saturday making scarecrows to sell at this year's pumpkin carving. That event will take place this Saturday (October 29th) from 10 until Noon at the playground of Newman Park. Pumpkins are $3. Fighting Chihuahua T-Shirts as well as scarecrows will be on sale.

Board members Robert Taylor, Catherine Bachtold and Sally Sauli carefully select
the right costume for each scarecrow.

Tony Duran shows off a very fashionably dressed scarecrow.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Save Alamo Elementary School

Our compadres in the Segundo Barrio are looking for our support. Neighborhood Association President Osvaldo Velez writes:

Dear Friends,

Residents and members of the Southside Neighborhood Association recently voted and agreed for Alamo School to be an El Paso Historic Landmark.

Let's Keep It Historic!!!

Houchen Community Center, 609 S. Tays, El Paso, Texas 79901 (Map)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011, 6:00 p.m.

Do check out Segundo Barrio Scene.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Farewell to Chief Justice David Chew

From El Paso Bar Journal, Oct./Nov. 2011, p. 13
Double click to enlarge.

From El Paso Bar Journal, Oct./Nov. 2011, p. 14
Double click to enlarge.

At midnight on October 11, 2011, Newmanista David Chew will resign as Chief Justice of the Eighth Court of Appeals. Read the above El Paso Bar Journal interview by Clinton Cross. David and Mandy are planning a move to McAllen, Texas where David will be working in the industrial real estate industry.

Gov. Rick Perry has appointed Justice Ann Crawford McClure as the first woman Chief Justice of the Eighth Court of Appeals.

David is the brother of Newmanistas Linda Chew (Judge of the 327th District Court) and Patricia Chew (Judge of Probate Court Number One).

Monday, September 26, 2011

Inventive Piña Brothers to Upscale When?

Piedras Quality Food Mart on September 26, 2011. Compare with picture posted on September 30, 2009.

According to Rep. Susie Byrd, grocer Mike Piña indicated that it was his company's intent to really spruce up the Quality Food Mart on Piedras and Porter as they had done to other stores they had purchased. He made the same claim over two years ago!

Compare the picture above taken today to one taken from the same street corner in September 2009! See the September 30, 2009 Newman Park blog post. See any differences? Anything spruced up? There's a new tortilla factory inside but that's about it. Meat selection is poor and the produce must be what's left over from the Vista stores.

Byrd recently inquired what Piña and his brothers intended to do with the other Quality Food Mart on Wheeling and Alabama. It has been closed for several months now. Owners of the Vista Markets, the Piñas have decided to close it because of low volume sales and that they had it under contract for a Dollar Store. A Dollar Store!

I might add that, while I was taking the picture above, I was briefly approached by a woman who seemed to me to be a hooker. She left me alone (and didn't solicit me) as she could probably tell I was more focused on the photography. I saw her later working the ticky-tacky bars a block up and across the street from the non-spruced up Quality Food Mart.

These places border our Newman Park neighborhood where great things are happening. But it is time to do better with our businesses on Piedras and Alabama. Time to do a lot better.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Help Police Track Crime Patterns

Commander Mark Austin addresses concerns at a meeting of the Newman Park Neighborhood Association Board.

Commander Mark Austin of the EPPD Central Regional Command visited with members of the Newman Park Neighborhood Association Board during their regular meeting last Saturday. Commander Austin was accompanied by Neighborhood Relations Coordinator, Leslie Canada.
Addressing several recent concerns voiced by Association members, Austin stressed the need for neighbors to help police identify crime patterns. Even if someone takes a small item from the yard (a flower pot, a solar light), it should be reported so that police can track the pattern or trail of the thief. He mentioned that storage sheds have been a recent target of thieves and asked that people keep their sheds locked. He also said that suspicious persons or situations should be reported - vehicles parked in alley ways or persons or cars not normally "belonging" to the neighborhood were two examples. He emphasized that neighbors should talk to their neighbors and know what is happening.

Byrd Gets Park Olympics Trophy

Rep. Susie Byrd, Chuy, Jim Tolbert, Judy Gutierrez

This past Saturday Representative Susie Byrd received the coveted traveling trophy won by the Newman Park Neighborhood Association Fighting Chihuahuas at the 2nd Annual Park Olympics. Newman Park Neighborhood Association President Jim Tolbert presented her and her Assistant, Judy Gutierrez, with the prize. They will display it proudly at the El Paso's District Two office at City Hall during the coming year. Although Chuy, the trophy, will be up for grabs again next year, Las Vegas odds makers are already saying that the Mexican mongrels are the odds-on favorites to win again.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


The shape of someone's hibachi has been burned into the grass at Newman Park.

Recently there have been two instances of the consequences of hibachi use on the grass in Newman Park. The most recent and egregious happened this past Labor Day weekend. You can see the result in the picture above.

Nothing is mentioned about hibachi use under park rules for the City of El Paso. The Director of Parks and Recreation, Nanette Smejkal, says that bringing grills to the parks is not prohibited. "Prohibitions are determined by City Council and set forth in Code 13.24."

You would think that common sense would tell anyone to use hibachis or other grills only in the concrete areas – not on the grass!

Ellen Smyth: Portrait of Caring and Service

Ellen Smyth speaks at Rep. Susie Byrd's monthly breakfast.

Ellen Smyth listens and takes notes. She doesn't get defensive when someone mentions a concern nor does she try to explain away a problem. She takes notes. Literally. That's what she was doing at the most recent breakfast meeting hosted by Rep. Susie Byrd. As Director of the City's Environmental Services, she didn't just come to tell about the new jobs her department was taking on. She came to listen.

Beginning this month, Environmental Services adds Animal Services to its existing divisions which include air monitoring, recycling, sustainability, landfills, code enforcement, building inspections and more. Environmental Services does everything from vector control to tattoo parlor inspections to monitoring air for biochemicals and other potentially lethal hazards as part of the City's responsibilities to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Ms. Smyth handed out the brochure Know What to Throw and discussed the City's recycling program. Although glass and grass are not yet recyclable, Environmental Services will be taking the first steps toward composting by purchasing a chipper. She hailed the success of the curbside recycling program. Prior to the program only about 10% of the City's trash was diverted to recycling - now it is 18% and growing. Attendees of the breakfast asked questions about flow control which has been postponed until 2014. Ellen mentioned that Ft. Bliss wants City trash as part of its goal to have all of its power come from renewable resources.

People voiced some concerns and mentioned some problems. Ms. Smyth took notes and wrote down locations. She's a problem-solver not a justifier - a breath of fresh air when too often some in governmental services can't be bothered by the people they serve.

For more information, visit www.recycleelpaso.org and the Environmental Services web page.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Learn How to Make El Paso a Safer Place to Live

Click on image to enlarge.

Don't Be Conned

Here's a message from Officer Henry Slack:


If it’s too good to be true, most likely it is. If it’s too sad to be true, it usually is.

Folks be weary of con-artists. They prey on our human instincts to be good and try to help our fellow man. Most recently in the area of Manhattan Heights (Memorial Park area) a group of con-artists attempted to separate good people from their money. Here is the con: your door bell rings and a well-groomed, polite young man is at your door. He tells you that his grandmother has locked her self out, and neither her or him have cash to pay for a locksmith. He mentions some of your neighbors' last names (probably through mail rummaging), and how they gave him a few dollars, and that he is ten dollars short. (Some good people gave into his con and gave him some money!)

Things to do:

  • Tell the person that you belong to a Neighborhood Association/Watch and that you WILL call police, to further assist him/them.
  • Take notes, jot down a good description - head to toe.
  • See where he/they go next. Is a vehicle being used? Get a description of that vehicle.
  • Tell them you don’t trust anyone ask to see an ID.

Start a Neighborhood Watch!

Not to do:

  • Open your door.
  • Give them your information.
  • Give them your hard earned money.
  • Give them a ride.
  • Provide any other information about yourself or neighbor.

There are many cons out there. All prey on our basic instinct to help.

Stay safe.

Officer H. Slack #2106, CPO

314 S. Leon


Also, there have been reports about people coming to the door in the wee hours of the morning: 1 a.m., 2 a.m. Don't open the door. Call the police.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fighting Itzcuintlis and the El Paso Muesum of Archaeology

It's easy to see how the greatest neighborhood association can get a big fat head especially after their triumph at this year's Park Olympics. But a little humility is good for the soul and the Fighting Chihuahuas should take note. In an effort to help keep things in perspective, consider where the Chihuahua comes from. Behold the Esquintle (Itzcuintli in Nahuatl):

Display at the El Paso Museum of Archaeology. Click image to enlarge.

As the sign says, although the Itzcuintli is the ancestor of the Chihuahua, it is now the term for "unruly, rude children". Something to keep in mind. Apparently "it" is on the Aztec calendar as well.

The picture above is from a display at the El Paso Museum of Archaeology - a great place for young and old and for all of us to discover more about our roots as El Pasoans and, indeed, children of the Chihuahuan Desert.

This Saturday, August 27 at 2:00, you and your friends and family can learn more about the Manso, Suma, Piro and Tigua Indians. Here is the press release:

Miguel Pedraza, Tribal Governor at Ysleta del Sur Mission, c. 1971, photo courtesy of Nicholas P. Houser

Zip Tour of the exhibit

Settlement Legacy: Native Americans of the Pass of the North

August 27, 2011, 2:00 pm, Free Admission

Please join Curator of Education Marilyn Guida for a brief free Zip Tour of the exhibit, Settlement Legacy: Native Americans of the Pass of the North at 2:00 pm on Saturday, August 27, 2011 at the El Paso Museum of Archaeology. This tour introduces the exhibit to the public through a casual conversation during which those attending may ask questions and share their knowledge.

The exhibit tells the dramatic story of the foundation of today’s El Paso-Ciudad Juárez region which originates with the Manso, Suma, Piro, and Tigua Indians who, over four centuries ago, founded the missions and pueblos that evolved into our sister cities.

The exhibit was created by Guest Curator Nicholas P. Houser, who has conducted historical research for the Tigua Indians, created exhibits for museums and cultural centers, and has worked with over 36 Native American communities in the American Southwest and Latin America.

Information: 915-755-4332; guidamr@elpasotexas.gov; www.elpasotexas.gov/arch_museum/

The museum is closed on Mondays but open from Tuesday through Saturday from 9 until 5 and on Sundays from Noon until 5. (Perfect trip after doing Scenic Sunday.) You can find directions, here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fighting Chihuahuas Get the Gold!

Paco Dominguez slam dunks another point for the Fighting Chihuahuas.

The Fighting Chihuahuas of the Newman Park Neighborhood Association took the "gold" trophy at the Second Annual Park Olympics. Competing against four other neighborhood associations (Manhattan Heights, Kern Place, Mission Hills and Rim Road) the Chihuahuas swept all of the volleyball and tug-of-war contests and did well in enough of the other contests to be certified the victors by an unbiased group of judges from the University of Texas at El Paso. The final point tally was Newman Park-24, Mission Hills-19 and Kern Place-14.

When asked why Newman Park easily won the day, tug-of-war captain and volleyball sensation, Paco Dominguez, responded: "We won because we were the better nourished team. After all, we have Papaburgers, Kiki's and the House of Pizza."

Robert Taylor, Becky Friesenhahn, Jim Tolbert

At the end of the contest, Becky Friesenhahn, the head of the Olympics Committee, presented the trophy to Jim Tolbert, President of the Newman Park Neighborhood Association. Tolbert along with NPNA Treasurer, Robert Taylor, then presented Becky with gifts thanking her for her dedicated work as Vice-President of the Association for 4 years and tireless organizer of many of the organization's other events including the Park Olympics.

Radio La Chusma

The very popular Radio La Chusma closed out the day with their great style of music as people from all five Associations enjoyed grilled hamburgers and hot dogs provided by Representative Susie Byrd's office.

Commenting on the success of the event, Becky Friesenhahn said: "Once again, Newman rocked the house!!!"