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

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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: 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 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

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This goes double for food bags for Chihuahuas!

Districting Commission Changes Date

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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.

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Help Choose New District Boundaries

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