The Odessa American from Odessa, Texas on March 2, 2014 · B1
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The Odessa American from Odessa, Texas · B1

Odessa, Texas
Issue Date:
Sunday, March 2, 2014
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L OCAL & S TATE MATTER OF RECORD | 2B DEATHS | 2-3, 5B TELEVISION | 4B SUNDAY, MARCH 2, 2014WWW.OAOA.COMSECTION B >> CHECK IT OUT Odessa College, 201 W. University Blvd., features the Anomalous Art Show through Thursday in the WiFi Java Cafe. AROUND THE BASIN ODESSA AMERICAN STAFF Here’s a glance at what’s going on around the Basin. Today EXHIBIT >> What: Last day for the exhibit “Inner Vision: Bronzes by Michael Naranjo.” >> When: Today. >> Where: The Ellen Noël Art Museum, 4909 E. University Blvd. >> Naranjo is a blind artist and Vietnam veteran who creates detailed bronze sculptures ranging in size from 12 inches to 12 feet. His pieces have been on display in The Vatican and are part of the permanent collection in the White House. >> Museum hours: 10a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. >> Admission: Free. >> Call: 550-9696. >> Visit: www.noelart EXHIBIT >> What: Last day for the exhibit, “The Color of Oil: Paintings by Margarete Bagshaw.” >> When: Today. >> Where: The Ellen Noël Art Museum, 4909 E. University Blvd. >> Museum hours: 10a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. >> Admission: Free. >> Call: 550-9696. >> Visit: www.noelart I n the words of author, humorist, musician, cigar purveyor, tequila seller and Ag commissioner candidate Kinky Friedman, “politics is for yokels.” Mind you that is not a disparaging remark on locals or our local races, but it is in fact true. And we have some pretty hot races on the ballot Tuesday. And this is an election when we elect the folks who represent us, both in Washington, Austin and in Ector County. Remember to vote on Tuesday. But Kinky himself is running in a pretty hotly contested race — this time as a Democrat. In 2006,he ran as an independent for governor and placed fourth in a six- way race. In 2010, he threw his cowboy hat in the ring for Ag Commissioner but lost the Democratic nomination. This will be Kinky’s third attempt getting a seat in the state capital and he is not blowing cigar smoke this time. And for us reporter types, he provides,well, a wee bit of entertainment, albeit levity, on the political landscape. But mark my words, he’s serious. On his website,, his platform is spelled out clearly: “ I’m running for Agriculture Commissioner of Texas in the March 4th Democratic Primary in an effort to bring courage, imagination, and common sense back to politics. I’m running as an old- time Harry Truman blue dog Democrat. I’m running to try to give young people in Texas someone in politics they can look up to. Last, but certainly not least, I’m running to end the prohibition on pot and hemp in the great state of Texas.” His platform genuinely scares the hell out of most folks, but he doesn’t care. He maintains it will be the economic shot in the arm Texas needs to fund education and a slew of other things. “There would be no culture without agriculture. It is the green thread that runs through all our lives. As we have seen in Colorado and Washington State, legalizing, taxing, and cultivating pot can be the economic engine to fund education, not just talk about it, so perhaps we would no longer rank 50th in the country in high school graduation rates.Legalizing pot will lower property taxes as well as reducing other state and local taxes. It will also effectively spay and neuter the Mexican drug cartels; the people of Texas will become the new cartel. I have yet to meet a law enforcement officer in Texas who does not believe we are losing the war on drugs.” Not so fast, Kinky — those states are “testing the waters.” There are problems with states where there has been legalization. But the higher-ups are studying the situation to be sure, but the verdict is not in — yet. His opponents have not jumped on the bandwagon, and have thwarted attempts by reporters to see if they’ll go there,too. “I’m interested in grass, but it’s not that kind,” Hugh Fitzsimons, a Democratic contender who raises grass- fed bison in Carrizo Springs, told The New York Times. “To me, we have some serious, serious problems, and it’s primarily centered around water.” Jim Hogan, a Cleburne farmer, responded similarly. “I don’t smoke it,” he told FLASHBACK CELINDA HAWKINS >> Celinda’s column appears on Sundays. Email comments may be sent to chawkins@ Kinky Friedman: Politics is for yokels >> See FLASHBACK Page 2B BY AUDRIS PONCE Ector County Court at Law 2 Judge Mark Owens died of cancer Friday morning. Owens, 52, served the Ector County Courthouse for the past 20 years. Owensbattled cancer for the past two and a half years, but continued to serve as judge. Ector County Judge Susan Redford described Owens as a “complete statesman in all respects.” Redford worked with Owens for 12 years and said he became a friend and one of her key mentors since she became a prosecutor in 2002. “This is a tremendous loss for Ector County as a whole,” Redford said. “He taught me to be fair, to listen carefully and to always have an open mind.” Owens was born in Monroe, La., on March 21, 1961. He attended the University of Texas at Austin and South Texas College of Law in Houston. Owens moved to Odessa from Dallas in 1988 and opened his own practice. Owens was elected to the bench in1993. Owens served as president of the Texas County Court at Law Judges Association, board member Ector County jurist, 52, served for past 20 years on the bench >> See OWENS Page 2B MARK OWENS LATE ECTOR COUNTY COURT AT LAW 2 JUDGE Judge Mark Owens dies MORE INSIDE >> See Mark Owens’ obituary on Page 5B. BY AUDRIS PONCE An Odessa man who helped introduce FM radio to the West Texas region died of vital organ complications Friday. Roy Arthur Elsner, 89, was born in the Chicago suburb of Cicero and moved to Odessa for a job as a radio announcer for one of two AM radio stations in the city in 1947. He founded KQIP, the first FM radio station in West Texas, in 1961. The station is now KMCM 96.9 FM. “He was a huge pioneer at that time because people didn’t really know what FM radio was,” Elsner’s son, Phil, said. “It was such a superior quality of sound.” Elsner was a decorated veteran who received a Purple Heart in a military hospital for his service during World War II in Iwo Jima, where he was wounded in action twice. Elsner was married to his wife, Essie, for almost 60 years. Essie Elsner died in January 2008. Susan Elsner Furman, daughter of Roy and Essie, said that their relationship was a “prime example” of a married couple. “I believe that I’ve been one of the luckiest people on earth because I was blessed with two HOOD’S SLAMMED >> See ATB Page 2B PHOTOS BY RYAN EVON| ODESSA AMERICAN Left: Aaron Harmes aka ‘Cash Commodity,’ top, twists the legs of Nathan Briggs during the Saved By The Bell wrestling event Saturday at the Hood Junior High School Gymnasium organized by Old School Wrestling. Fred Urban, co-owner of Old School Wrestling, said the event and ones after, which take place the third Saturday of every month, are to raise money for the Hood Junior athletics program. Top right: Steven Bramley, left, of Andrews has his hand raised by wrestler Chris Wolfe before the start of the second match of the Saved By The Bell wrestling event Saturday. Right: Chris Wolfe hits Cody ‘The Artist’ Jones with a flying kick in the second match of the Saved By The Bell wrestling event Saturday at the Hood Junior High School Gymnasium hosted by Old School Wrestling. ON THE NET: >> Hood Junior High School: Roy Elsner, 89, brought FM airwaves to West Texas, founding KQIP/KMCM Local radio pioneer dies >> See ELSNER Page 4B ROY ELSNER FOUNDED KQIP-FM We Carry Traditional, Retro & Contemporary Lines 34” Bar Stools In Stock! 1025 N. Midkiff Midland, TX 432-520-6035 Open 10-6 Mon. - Sat.

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