El Paso Times from El Paso, Texas on April 20, 2005 · 11
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El Paso Times from El Paso, Texas · 11

El Paso, Texas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
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) East Side After residents thought they quashed plans for a low-income housing development in 2004, it has re-emerged. Coming Thursday mes Wednesday, April 20, 2005 Neighborhoods, city desk, 546-6345, neighborsaelpasotimes.com www.elpasotimes.com 3B Neighborhood 4 1 AX RELIEF, REVTTALIZATION $ ... motivate South-West district candidates Texas w&urmm m mm J . , --t , -. . dpasotimes.com Talk to your neighbors, visit Neighborhood Forums OUXINOTABLES Nobel Prize winner subject of program Nobel Prize winner Isaac Bashevis Singer will be the subject of a program on immigrant writers from 6 to 9 p.m. today at the "I Dorris Van 1 Doren Regional Library, 551 Redd. UTEP Professor Ezra Cappell will discuss I Singer Singer's work and show a movie based on his writings. The program is free and open to the public. Information: 875-0700 or www.elpasolibrary.org. OUHCOLLEGES UTEP musical groups to perform at gala The University of Texas at El Paso will be host to a Department of Music Gala perform- " ! ance at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the box bine Arts "' Recital Hall. The gala will feature the university's hand, or- - chestra, choir and various en- - ' Simula information: t-:ouo. OUHFAMILIES Learn parenting skills at April 30 seminar nl T.1,: T,.,..,l '," chologist, will have a parent ing seminar irom v a.m. io i . n m Anril 30 at 7V) ThnnHpr- ... - nirn inre i i np seminar wn : focus on issues such as redefining parental roles, establishing a family mission state- ment and learning more effec-- tive parenting skills. Cost is $5(1 a nerson. Earlv reeistra- tion is recommended. Information: 584-3866. ounrmsTS Jolly Roger1 dinner theatre is interactive The El Paso Mystery Troupe will present its latest produc-' tion, "The. Pirates Adventure: Jolly Roger," at 7 p.m. Saturday and April 30 at the Holi-day Inn Sunland Park, 900 " Sunland Park. Organizers say 1 the interactive pirate dinner theatre is a first in El Paso. The show's contests include a ,i( limbo dance, pirate's toss- across and a walk on the plank. ' Cost is $20 for adults, $11 for children ages 5 to 11 and free ' for 5 and younger. Discounts ',' will be given to senior citizens and military. Admission in-eludes the show, dinner buf- , fet, tax and waiter gratuity. " Reservations are required. Information: 544-5992 or "'' www.mysterytroupe.com West Side city Rep. Susan Austin, 541-4886. West-Central city Rep. Robert A. Cushing Jr., 541-4996. South-West city Rep, Anthony Cobos, 541-4364. Precinct 4 County Commissioner Dan Haggerty, 546- " 2044. Westside Regional Command, 4801 Osborne, 585-6000. The West Side reporter is Adrians M. Chavez at 546-6117 or , achavezelpasfv'imes.com By fammy Fonce-Olivas B Paso Times The two men battling for El Paso's South-West city representative position are both businessmen in their 30s trying to build support for their campaigns by hitting the streets and knocking on doors. Incumbent Anthony Cobos and his opponent, Robert "Beto" O'Rourke, agree that going out and meeting people is the best way to find out about issues that are important to voters in District 8, a diverse area stretching from the low-income neighborhoods near Downtown to the affluent Willows in the Upper Valley. "This is the third time I have run a door-to-door campaign and I'm getting an excellent response," said Cobos, 37, who is seeking a third term. O'Rourke, 32, has also been walking a lot and getting to know voters. "Door-to-door is awesome," O'Rourke said. "You never know everything you need to know to run a campaign, and the best way to learn is to go out and meet the people. I've learned a tremendous amount about the issues that are important to them." Sunset Heights resident Hort-encia Vale said she has not paid much attention to the city elections because she thinks the city services that her neighborhood receives are sufficient. "Until now everything has been fine," she said. But O'Rourke said voters have told him that basic city services "are real important to them and in a lot of cases they are not being met." If elected, O'Rourke said, he will help his constituents have their requests for services, such as street-light repairs, addressed by the appropriate city department.. "I would provide leadership and attention, both of which have been missing for some time now," he said. Cobos said despite allegations from his opponent, he is providing his constituents with leadership, which is evident by his position as mayor pro-tern. "I fought against the (former mayor) Ray Caballero tax increase," Cobos said. "I fought against long-term debt without ' voter approval, which are certificates of obligatioa I have fought against the development of Res-ler Canyon and I fought against the development of Keystone (Heritage Park)." O'Rourke said the battle over Resler Canyon is not finished; it simply moved from City Hall to the courthouse. "The city is locked in a lawsuit with the developer of that canyon and that lawsuit is going to cost a lot of money," he said. "Without a doubt it's in the city's interest and the taxpayers' interest to Find a better way to settle this," O'Rourke said. "I'd rather not risk that much public money (in a lawsuit). I'd rather let the voters decide. What we really need is an open-space policy." The candidates said revitaliza-tion of Downtown is another important issue in this race. Cobos said the city is working to rejuvenate Downtown by supporting the development of a master plan for the area. In addition, the city has supported Downtown projects including the expansion of the main library, the repaving of several streets and the redevelopment of the Plaza Theater. O'Rourke said he wants City Council to consider freezing for 10 years the property taxes on historic buildings, including homes, in the Downtown and possibly the Sunset Heights ar- r Courtesy of Canutillo Independent School District Bill Childress Elementary School students, from left, Esmeralda Rascon, Joselin Rico, Alex Torres and Raul Bustos observe Mr. Wrinkles, a smoke trap that shows how much smoke is in a cigarette, and trje effects on teeth and the face caused by the tar. District 8 covers a large area including Downtown and parts of the Upper Valley. Downtown revitalization has been a prominent Candidate profiles Age: 37. Occupation: Two-term city representative. Education: Bachelor's in healthcare administration from Park College. Background: Businessman, oper Age: 32. Occupation: Owns Stanton Street Technology Group, which offers technology consulting and Web site services. Education: Bachelor's in English from Columbia University. Background: Member of Hispanic Chamber of Commerce executive . : -? - Some residents in District 8 are concerned about preservation efforts, such as preserving land at Keystone Heritage Park. eas. Providing a tax incentive could beautify the community, add economic development to Downtown and grow the tax base once the property returns to the tax rolls. Although these candidates have several issues to debate, it has not prevented personal attacks. Cobos has brought to the public's attention that his opponent has been arrested on a DWI charge. "I do think that it's a big issue. I think you lead by example and 1 OT . P. Lf p I - , - ates Flash Income Tax; married, two children. Web site: www.elpaso texas.gov district8 board (on leave of absence), published a newspaper ; called Stanton Street Weekly. This is the first time he has run for office. He's single. Web site: www.beto2005.com elpasotimes.com List of all candidates running May 7 and amendments his example speaks for itself," Cobos said. O'Rourke was arrested on a DWI charge in September 1998. The case was dismissed in 1999 after he completed a court-recommended DWI program. "I've been open about that since the very beginning. I have owned up to it and I have taken responsibility for it," he said. O'Rourke said since that incident, he has strived to give back to the community by getting involved with civic organizations and nonprofit groups, such as the Center Against Family Violence. Court records show he was also arrested in 1995 at UTEP on a burglary of building charge, which was later dropped. "That happened while I was in college. I along with some friends were horsing around, and we snuck under the fence at the UTEP physical plant and set off an alarm. We were arrested by Kids promote Kick Butts Day Times staff report Bill Childress Elementary School celebrated its 10th annual Kick Butts Day recently to promote tobacco-free children. The campaign is an annual celebration of youth advocacy, which teaches youths to not use tobacco. Students help promote the awareness by educating others about what they have learned. Childress Elementary School coaches Raul Villanueva, Jose Medel and Anabel Perez, along Times file photos issue for voters and representatives, along with tax relief for the constituents. City Council District 8 1 N District 4 -u, -I Northeast r D : r , District l c.rtnJ I 4 J West Side Rnw I District 2 I C - m . lLTi West-Central L' ' x Ua A r 7 ! Ov I K Vl Districts U J i Q V rf-J East Side n& ? i BHt m n ' if! District8J 'ST5 ! VJLl South-West 1 m N. "11 ) . 1 District 3 V f " j7r East-Central V"vv' I '4 -iL District7 i,'y D EastridgeMid-Valley District 6 K N Source: City of El Paso. East-Valley UTEP police. ... UTEP decided not to press charges. We weren't intending to do any harm," he said. Court records also show that Cobos was arrested in 1998 on a soliciting, selling and distributing on roadway charge. The charge was later dropped. Cobos said he was passing out fliers for his restaurant when he began talking back to a police officer who approached him. "I learned then you can debate your parent, you can debate your priest, but when you try to debate a police officer, you don't always win," Cobos said. O'Rourke said he has refrained from attacking Cobos on a personal level because he wants to focus his campaign on the issues. "I don't see where there is room for personal attacks in a campaign, where the needs of the community are so great and the opportunities are so great," he said. Holding the line on property taxes is an area on which these two candidates agree, but they have different ideas on what is needed to provide long-term relief to taxpayers. Cobos said, "The No. 1 issue is taxes. This is an area that is al- with F.I Paso County Sher- and Carlos Tavarez, presented tobacco awareness ac tivities to stu dents in the third through sixth grades. Students were shown presentations demonstrating the damage caused by the use of 'itobacco X V El Paso Times ways a concern and fortunately we have taken some action for our seniors and our disabled." City Council last month voted to double the tax exemption for the elderly and disabled to $30,000. Cobos said a growing tax base, which will be aided by the expected influx of soldiers to Fort Bliss, should keep the city from asking more of taxpayers. O'Rourke said to stop burdening taxpayers, the city must attract better paying jobs to the community. "People are sick and tired of being squeezed so tightly, not getting the services they expect for the money that they pay for," he said. "We need to focus on long-term economical development. How do we bring in more industry and better paying jobs?" O'Rourke said the future of the community depends on City Council working with other elected officials, neighborhood associations, private industry, Fort Bliss and other groups to pursue economic development opportunities that would bring in high-paying jobs and help grow the tax base. Tammy Fonce-Olivas may be reached at tfonceelpasotimes.com; 546-6362. products. One demonstration was a smoke trap, called Mr. Wrinkles, that shows how much smoke is in one cigarette and the effect of teeth discoloration and wrinkling of the face caused by the tar. Connie Parker, the campus drug-free coordinator, Michelle Escobcdo, counselor, and Louie Sarellano, drug coalition facilitator, coordinated the activities. Veliz and Tavarez said the activities also gave students hands-on demonstrations of how smoking affects their ability to bftf.ithe.

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