Letters to the editor

Editor: I’m incredibly grateful for the Marfa Volunteer Fire Department and their quick action in putting out a brush fire across from the Arena this past Friday. I hate to think of how things could have gone had your team not been there on the spot. Thank you,

Peter Stanley, Director of Facilities The Chinati Foundation Marfa

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Editor: On Thursday, May 3rd, the Marfa ISD Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) hosted a camping-themed luncheon to honor the entire MISD staff for Teacher Appreciation Week. Great food from Salsa Puedes, a photo booth, camping décor and lots of wonderful door prizes were shared by all. The PTO was thrilled with the generous donations given by so many local businesses and citizens and we would like to thank the following for their kind contributions: Frama, Big Bend Coffee Roasters, Porter’s supermarket Marfa, Ranch Candy, Dairy Queen, Hotel Paisano, The Get Go, Marfa Brands Soap Company, Pizza Foundation, Jacqueline Delolmo and Angela Noelle from The Well, Regina Pet Grooming, Thunderbird Hotel, Mrs. P’s Soapery, Angie Portillo from B’s Day Spa, Liz’s Llamacom Lounge, Blue Water Natural Foods, Allison Scott, Katie Price Fowlkes, Chyrell Poenisch and Emma Sara. The donations make this event so popular and fun and they help bring excitement and so many smiles to our deserving MISD staff. Additionally, we thank the families who donated $5 or more to the luncheon. Your money assists us in paying for the event and helps to make it a huge success year after year. With gratitude from the PTO officers,

Sarah Fellows Martinez, Kelly Ramsey Webb, Janet Enriquez, Cherri Aguero and Amber Sherill Marfa

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Editor: I am a volunteer researcher for the Texas Peace Officers Memorial. On or about 9 April 1914, Presidio County precinct 3 Constable Tomas Quintana was reportedly killed at Redford by Pancho Villa forces who were stealing horses. I have found personal info (b. Nov 1868 San Jose, Chihuahua, Mexico and married Pascuala Dominguez 1896) but no place of burial or any newspaper articles on his death. His wife shows to have died in 1969. I am seeking any assistance with facts, surviving family or place of burial. Hopefully there are still family members alive that might have any information. Thanks

Ron DeLord Georgetown, Texas 512-461-9420 / delord@ix.netcom.com

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Editor: National Stuttering Awareness Week begins May 7, 2018. Did you know more than three million Americans stutter? That’s more than the populations of Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, and Washington, DC… combined. One percent of your readers stutter, and up to five percent of children stutter for a time during their early developmental years. In the spirit of spreading awareness, the most important thing you and your readers can do for someone who stutters - or for anyone you are speaking with - is listen. Listen to what they have to say rather than how they say it. For more information, visit our website: StutteringHelp.org. Sincerely,

Jane Fraser President, The Stuttering Foundation Memphis, Tennessee 912-638-3416

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Editor: If anyone missed George Covington’s column last week I highly recommend they go back and read it. Even though math is like Greek to some people, the fact is that math - numbers - don’t lie. One plus one always equals two. Percentages can sometimes become mind boggling but they produce important glimpses into how one group of people (for instance) compares to another group. Like how the already wealthy get the meat and potatoes from the Republican tax “cut” and the rest of us get the table scraps, if we get anything at all. Mr. Covington clearly shows how most of us are getting the shaft with regard to the $1.5 trillion redistribution of wealth from last year’s “cut,” while billionaires and huge multinational corporations are laughing all the way to the bank. Just a couple of weeks ago there were a number of articles and reports about the billion dollar fine levied against Wells Fargo Bank for various fraudulent practices. “That’s huge,” you might exclaim but what most of those reports failed to mention was that Wells Fargo reportedly will receive over three billion dollars from their tax cut! Our president likes to tweet about what is fair or unfair, does anything about that sound fair? Even if you support Trump and the tax “cut” consider, if you will, that Mr. Covington is a respected member of the Big Bend community who is not prone to false statements. Readers who are open minded enough to learn the truth really need to check out “We are all going to get rich!” One of the really great things about the tax cut, though, is that about the time the ink dried from Trump’s signature, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was declaring that his fellow Repubs needed to get to work on bills to reduce Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc., because of the trillion dollar deficit created by so-called fiscal conservatives. Yeah, that’s fair. We pay for the billionaires tax cuts, they send the money to some offshore tax haven never to be seen again. Business as usual for the Repubs. Sad. (Did I really say “sad”? OMG!)

Fred Gossien Terlingua

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Editor. As a concerned resident of the Big Bend, I urge everyone to attend the TxDOT public meetings on future plans for the US Highway 67 corridor from Presidio to Interstate 10 west of Fort Stockton (which includes Alpine and Marfa). These meetings will be held on May 14, Alpine; May 16, Marfa; May 17, Presidio; and May 15, Fort Stockton. The purpose of the TxDOT meetings is to provide the communities with an opportunity to help shape the future of transportation along the US 67 corridor. All of the following have the potential to add to the traffic along this highway: the completion of the TransPecos Pipeline, the construction of the railroad bridge across the Rio Grande near Presidio, the upgrade of the railroad past Alpine, the upgrade of the border crossing at Presidio and the opening of new businesses in Presidio. It is important for us to have our say in the future of Hwy 67 now, not after the fact. Auto and truck traffic continue to increase, and the situation is going to get worse, not better. We, as residents of the Big Bend, need to be proactive in the TxDot planning process. For more information about the project: contact Rebecca Reyes, TxDOT Project Manager at (915) 790-4205 or rebecca.Reyes@txdot.gov. You can review the study at www.txdot.gov and search: US67 Corridor Master Plan.

Roger Siglin Alpine

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Editor:

Education, bonds, democracy,

Everyone believes that education is important to the success of our children and the community. The recent question for Alpine, however, was not been about the importance of education, it was about how much to spend on it now. For the second time in seven years, a plan presented for school bond debt was rejected. The $29.5 million bond request, along with interest that creates a $50+ million debt, payable over 30 years, to renovate one school, was too much. This is especially true considering some straight facts: a) the value of the school property tax base has increased 33% over the last five years, b) taxes are already at the highest rate allowed by law, c) there doesn’t seem to be enough money to maintain our current high school now, and d) our teachers are paid, on average, 10% below what other Texas high school teachers make. It’s time for a new plan. How about a plan that 1) lives within the current school maintenance and operations tax rate, 2) provides curriculum and materials that continue to prepare our children for the future, 3) is not about a new building to resolve current maintenance issues, and 4) ensures that our teachers are fairly compensated, with opportunities for their own continued development. A new long-term plan should balance the realities of the ability of our residents to fund facility improvements, while meeting the needs of our students. It’s very clear, many more want to be in this discussion beyond those who built the current plan. Start by attending the next AISD School Board meeting on May 16th to voice your view. It’s time to engage everyone in the discussion, not just a few. It’s time for a better plan.

Rick Stephens Alpine

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Editor:

The pattern,

Attempting to discredit Robert Mueller’s investigation, the Trump spin machine claimed “leaked” questions from the Special Prosecutor’s staff proved they were out to get him. It soon became known the questions weren’t from Mueller’s team. The language didn’t match a prosecutor’s writing style. The bizarre note from his personal physician touting the candidate’s good health during the campaign surfaced recently given news of a raid of his office by “45’s” personal security. The note was known to be illegitimate because it wasn’t in a doctor’s writing style. “Team Trump”; the proverbial “Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight”, the Penguin’s low-rent minions and yes, “45” himself, act big and threatening. The reality is they have less insight than immature grade schoolers. Those releasing poorly drafted forged documents can’t grasp, for example, how the teacher knew it was written by another student rather than the language of a concerned parent. It is always “the pattern”. It’s how Biblical scholars place New Testament writings from the same source(s). The pattern is a literary fingerprint. “Does “45’s” base see the pattern? It explains the “how and why” they bit on the Grifter-in-Chief’s shtick. They didn’t – or worse – give a hoot in accepting racial and religious divisiveness, mocking a disabled reporter, the “Southern Wall” scam, his Access Hollywood tape and more than enough to sink anyone else’s political canoe. Faithful base: “Do you ‘get’ that the health of the nation suffers more each day you don’t see the pattern!”

Rev. Barry Abraham Zavah Alpine

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Editor: I have a question for the folks who think teachers and staff at schools should be unarmed. When that gunman entered the school in Parkland, Florida with his guns blazing, do you really think the last thing the murdered teachers thought was, “I’m sure glad I don’t have a gun”?

Joe Cole Fort Worth