August 15 Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I am truly sick, saddened and shaken to my core by the recent events that took place in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio. I am broken for the people who were targeted simply because of who they were. We cannot allow bigotry, racism and hate to prevail in this Country! No one deserves to be hunted like animals for any reason!

I DO believe in the 2nd Amendment, but I also believe some reform and controls are necessary. Therefore, for my personal part in voting for the 2nd Amendment Sanctuary County Resolution, I don’t feel confident that I did the right thing. I get why people asked for it. They are afraid that their right to own guns might be taken away. I don’t want that for responsible gun owners either. But perhaps before hastily voting, we should have taken more time to read and research and deeply understand what kind of message we wanted to send. In my heart of hearts, I was not completely ok with it, and I should have taken a step back. I know those who were there saw my struggle with the matter. I don’t believe the 2nd Amendment is going anywhere, nor would I want it to. I just want to be fully informed and vote with confidence and I didn’t on this matter. I’m still struggling with what the right thing is to do.

I was told that gun free zones invite killers, but I believe that a lawless society also invites killers. We are not the same Country we used to be, things have changed, the hearts of people have changed. We cannot allow the horrific, senseless acts that took place last week to be just another in the latest acts of terror, hate and gun violence that we allow to fade into a distant memory until the next mass shooting happens. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, or to say that I know exactly what the right thing is to do, but I will say that what we’re doing now, as a nation, is not working. We want to build a wall around us to keep people in peril out, and yet we are surrounded by home grown terrorists right here in this beautiful USA. Gun rights are for those who are capable, responsible and fully trained to use them properly. We have to work on methods to help keep guns out of the wrong hands. I don’t think we can keep all guns out of the hands of criminals and killers, I’m not that naïve, but what I do know is that what we are currently doing in this Country is not working by a long shot. Mass killings are on the rise. I want to be a part of the movement that changes that! What can we do? What are some ideas that we can send to those at the top, that would help them make us a safer Country? How can we convince our politicians to come together and work for common good and not play the game of partisan politics? We’ve got to find a way to close the gap and prevent more people from dying.

Please know that I don’t think of myself as a politician, I am a public servant who is a human being and I am only in my position as County Commissioner because people have asked me to serve them. I don’t do things for political gain, as personally, I have nothing to lose when it comes to being a political figure vs. a member of the general public. I hope that people believe that I am doing my job well and that they believe in the things I stand up for. I will admit when I am wrong and welcome your input as to what I can personally do to better serve you all.

I send my love and condolences to all of those who have ever lost loved ones to gun violence. I pray that no one else ever find themselves in that situation. To our sister city El Paso, stay strong and thank you for showing us what brothers and sisters do for one another when a community is devastated! You have shown the world that love outweighs hate, and that hate will bind us, not separate us!

Respectfully yours,

Brenda Silva Bentley
Presidio County Commissioner, Pct. 1

Dear Editor,

We are all deeply saddened over the recent deaths of innocent people in El Paso. My daughter used to travel there for work and spent time in that mall. My wife and I have shopped there, as have many from our area. It could have been any of us who faced that terror.

But once again a tragedy is being used to further an agenda. Letters in last week’s Sentinel, and of course the ever-present ultra left wing cartoon, blamed guns. The former Sentinel owner blamed racist white men in general. (Imagine if someone had blamed brown Muslim racist men for the tragedies in Orlando, Ft. Hood, San Bernardino, or the Naval Yard.) She also mentioned following the Constitution and our democracy. The constitution and much of the correspondence between our founders makes it crystal clear that they believed in the individual right to bear arms. And I’m pretty sure we have a republic and not a democracy.

So by these standards, if someone drove a Ford pickup into a school-ground full of kids, killing and maiming them, we should ban all Ford pickups. Cameras are used for the plethora of pornography poisoning the internet, so let’s ban cameras. More people were killed in the latest FBI stats by hammers, by knives, and by hands and feet than by all rifles combined. Are we going to ban all those things? Do the people who died by those means not count?

There are roughly three hundred million guns currently in the U.S., and around one hundred million gun owners. Do we take the rights away from those people for what a few insane people do? Do we even consider the fact that the media fuels these killings by all of the sensationalism they create? We know that publicity inspires the next sick killer to try and best the one before. Yet no one holds the media responsible.

One of the best things I’ve read about the cause of the mass shootings came from a physician and fellow firearms instructor. He said:

“The Problem is not “guns,” it is societal and based upon dejected, desperate, disillusioned outcasts devoid of traditional human value. They live alone without God, familial/parental nurturing and are incapable of coping within a normal human society. They are the result of removing prayer from schools, fathers from family, virtue and heroism (and even normal polite face-to-face human interaction) from daily life.

Before we give up the right to self-protection, to defend our homes and family, and, if necessary our country, we’d all better think long and hard. Rights given up are seldom recovered. Guns have changed very little over the last fifty years. Our society has changed immensely. Maybe it’s time we consider what we’ve created. 

Don Cadden


Dear Editor,

Article’s about the appraisal of Marfa’s adobe buildings have led to a general misunderstanding that adobe buildings are appraised higher than buildings made using other construction methods. This is not true.

This belief has led people to protest the appraised value of their home before the Presidio County Appraisal Review Board. The protesting party clarifies that some parts are made of different materials. In cases where these materials are valued at a higher rate than adobe, the appraised value is raised as opposed to the owner’s assumption that the appraised value would be lowered. 

Asserting or implying that adobe is the most highly appraised construction material is wrong. The individuals who present information about adobe (including journalists) must learn about the appraisal process to ensure that their articles are accurate. An unfortunate result of the “adobe campaign” is that the value of homes is sometimes raised when an owner report that their home is not 100% adobe to the appraisal office.

Furthermore, articles about appraised values and increasing property taxes must be clear that a higher appraisal does not automatically result in higher taxes. The respective taxing authorities can lower the tax rates from year to year to negate the increase of value.

Vilis Inde

Member or the Presidio County Appraisal Review Board writing in my individual capacity

Dear Editor,

For those of you who were there, you already to know the thrilling finish of the Cowboy baseball season. A near perfect pitching performance by the Bakersfield ace was overcome in the bottom of the ninth by a never quit Cowboy team

However, the point I would like to make is not about winning and more about the human spirit and what makes us what we are. This “team” is composed of idealistic young men who come to us from all parts of the country and in fact all parts of the world. Most of these young men have little in common with our lifestyle, our geography, or our culture. They do share a love of the game as a common bond.

For those of you who question the real value of sports, I wish you could have been there. There was a moment that spelled it all out, a moment more important than the home run or the winning score.  

After twenty or so years of growing up with Kokernot Field always looming in the background, Alpine treasure, Eli Gallego took the field for the last time. I figure 200-300 games, countless home runs, great catches, and magic on the mound, this was it. After the dust had settled and the ‘Boys had pulled off a miraculous victory, someone handed Ely the championship trophy. A tearful Gallego hoisted the trophy amongst his teammates and loyal fans as the chant became a roar, “MVP! MVP! MVP!” Few on the team had a shred of common ground with this Hispanic boy from Alpine. Only the common goal of teamwork, respect and love for the game. Looking back over these lines I feel I have fallen short of capturing the magic I felt. I suppose you had to be there. Nevertheless, I am convinced there is a lesson to be learned here.

Thanks for the memories Cowboys. Safe travels back home and good luck. Thank you for the 

“World Series”. You are all our MVP.

Love & Honor

Randy Jackson

Dear Editor,

The Fate of Hate

The interface between President Donald J. Trump’s language and the American people is the free BNU (but not unbiased) media.

Univision is the border paradigm which translates Trump’s words about his vision for America to its version, casting everything he says in the darkest light possible. Most important, the free BNU media never gives Trump credit for any good thing. I have written before that if Trump walked on water, the headlines would read “Trump can’t swim!”

Where a citizen gets the news matters. The credibility and accuracy of the source matters. My only news source when I am at home is National Public Radio. I should be a liberal because liberalism is the slant of the NPR editorial staff and Marfa Radio “from the border to the basin.”

I am not. This is why:

In all media the daily events that are reported as news are a small selection from the innumerable events that occur worldwide. Networks of reporters seek to align events with their respective political opinion which has for many become an all-encompassing belief system—an ersatz religion—which I have written about in the past.

With the recent sale by Robert Louis and Rosario Salgado Halpern (former CFO) of the Sentinel to its new owners, it is understandable that the news bias being presented by Ms. Halpern in her letter of 8/8/2019 was also present when she was an owner of the newspaper.

She writes, “The greatest threat to America today is racist white supremacists…”—the category assigned to President Trump by Beto O’Rourke and the Castro brothers of El Paso. To continue with her sentence, it ends by saying that it is the racist white supremacists who are “committing the majority of mass shootings.” She adds “bigoted” to the racist white supremacist El Paso shooter. I would add mentally deranged and compare his written manifesto to that of the Unabomber. The Unabomber’s brother, a white male, alerted authorities.

President Trump is the supreme authority who is asking Congress to legislate universal background checks for gun sales with attention given to mental stability. Congress has the ability if not the inclination to do this; it does not have the legal ability to end gun sales without changing the Constitution. Despite the gun lobby, President Trump is encouraging Congress to curb gun sales to potential felons which, according to the free BNU media, is unpopular with “his base.”

The president’s actions are taken for the American people, not for his base. The words of Beto and the Castro brothers are for their political gain, and they do incite hate. Ms. Halpern’s letter, for all its emotion and good intentions, does the same thing.

President Trump is the object of hate, not the source of it. That is why I can support the President, listen to NPR and not hate back.

Rex Redden

South Brewster County

Dear Editor:

After last Friday nights rain/wind storm I discovered that a huge branch from one of my trees had fallen into the street and was blocking half of the street. I was unable to even begin to move the limb and wasn’t sure what to do when Leroy Gutierrez and Juan Bautista, who happened to be passing by, stopped and used their muscles to start moving the limb. Then Lee Donaldson stopped to help, and Joe Catano and Sammy Roman appeared. And finally, I looked up to see Ricky Guevara Jr., a City worker, pull up with a flat-bed trailer and a chain saw. Needless to say, the limb was cut into manageable pieces and loaded onto the trailer in a very short time.

Thank you, Leroy, Juan, Lee, Joe, Sammy, and Ricky. You are “good people” and fine men who saw the problem and cheerfully solved it. You have my respect and gratitude.

Dawn Shannon

Dear Editor,

Three members of the Hartnett’s family that live in El Paso are with the El Paso Police Department, Border Patrol and Socorro Police Department. They were called to go help on the massacre that we had here in El Paso on August 3, 2019. They helped with all of the injured people and the children that were hiding under tables and clothing racks. El Paso Police Officer Lionel Gutiérrez is the son of Linda Cisneros Gutiérrez and grandson of the late Gonzalo Ceniceros and late Victorina Harnett Ceniceros. Border Patrol Agent Joe Sierra and Socorro Police Officer Robert Sierra are the grandsons of the late Raymond “Sonny” and Esther Valverde and sons of Joann Valverde Sierra. They are also great-grandsons of the late Ramon and late Lucia Valverde.

Rosie Valverde

El Paso

Dear Editor,

American Exceptionalism

The gullibility of those convinced Sandy Hook firearm violence against children never happened, but Pizzagate, Hillary’s and sex trafficking, did. True believers spread easily refuted nonsense and QAnon-type conspiracies.  
Some have taken semi-automatic assault weapons killing and maiming those considered their “Deep State” enemies. White Supremacists/Neo-Nazis have been responsible for most acts of domestic terrorism, notwithstanding presidential fear-mongering about Islam, Mexicans and need for a wall.  
Facts haven’t convinced that crossing the border seeking asylum is legal under U.S. and International law, that all persons here have “Due process” constitutional rights and can’t be removed summarily or denied court hearings. Not everyone accepts fossil fuels impact global warming or per SCOTUS D.C v. Heller the 2nd Amendment is subject to reasonable regulation.  
Trump; a proven serial liar and career Grifter, blamed the Clintons for his convicted pedophile pal, Jeffrey Epstein’s death in jail. Yet, cite the Access Hollywood pussy grabbing tape/video, mimicking a disabled reporter, 10,000+ lies, broken campaign promises, criminal conviction among former Administrations officials and his enforcer- lawyer, Michael Cohen, the Trump University scam and racist practices predating Birtherism, knees quickly jerk “fake news”.  
In less than 3 years of an incompetent president catering to his darkest impulses, we’ve become “American Exceptionalism-lite”. Thoughtful people acknowledge the problem. Bless the House moving forward on Impeachment inquiries!

Sincerely yours, 
Rev. Barry Abraham Zavah
Alpine, TX