October 2, 2019 830 PM
I watched the PBS documentary about the Texas Rangers’ 1918 murder of 15 Hispanic men in the border village of Porvenir, Texas. The filmmakers deserve applause for retelling an aspect of mostly neglected Texas history. This film is an excellent reminder that the Mexican and Mexican American experience in Texas has routinely been swept under the rug through the years. As a young boy growing up in Valentine, Texas, not far from Porvenir, I constantly heard stories about the Brite Ranch raid and Porvenir massacre. How I wish I had a tape recorder in the 1950s.
Texas government could have done more than a historical marker. But politicians have a lousy record acknowledging their sins or guilt. God bless lawyer J.T. Canales for having the courage to shine the spotlight on state sanctioned abuses against people of Mexican descent.
El Paso, Texas
I am writing in response to an article that appeared in The Big Bend Sentinel on August 28 regarding one of the top candidates for Marfa City Manager. As one on the top candidates mentioned, I want to address some of the points made in the article. First, let me take ownership for any discrepancies that may have taken place under my watch. I feel these experiences helped me improve on a personal level and will lead me to better produce as a manager in future roles.
Second, although the article points to certain blemishes during my career, it overlooks 38 years of City Management experience, including a 30-year tenure for the City of Fort Stockton, a period where I worked with over 30 different councilmen, helped create hundreds of jobs and obtained unprecedented funding for the city.
Third, I want the City of Marfa to know that if given the opportunity to serve the city, they will be getting a hard-working, local executive who has lived his whole life in West Texas and wants the best for the communities in the area.
As a kid who grew up in Marathon, I had to work hard to get where I am. Like many in the area, I was the first to go to college in my family. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree from Sul Ross State University in 1973. My family didn’t have a lot of money so I worked summers and weekends at Big Bend National Park as a Ranger to pay for my education.
After graduation, I was given the opportunity to work for the City of Fort Stockton as a health inspector. After several years of hard work, I was promoted to City Manager. During that time, I worked with numerous council members, helped keep a budget surplus and created thousands of jobs with our two prison systems.
In 1992, I was fortunate enough to attend my dream school and earn an Executive MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. As a part-time student I worked with some of the brightest minds in the country including Frank Hernandez, former VP of British Petroleum and Former Congressman John Cooksey of Louisiana. In 2003, I retired as City Manager of Fort Stockton to pursue a career as a consultant with ICMA and USA Aid in Bolivia.
After that assignment I was hired by Texas First to become the interim city manager for the City of Colorado City. In 2005 I was hired by the City of Alpine and later in 2014 I was hired by the City of Alice. With the blemishes during my career, I was hired by several communities with no regrets.
I wish to congratulate the entire staff of Presidio High School for their excellent B rating from the Texas Education Agency for 2018-2019. This rating is the result of a caring and united staff providing a professional and excellent effort on behalf of our students and community. As the former principal of PHS (2013-2019), I am extremely grateful for the staff’s outstanding efforts. I wish Presidio High School continued success. Educators, you have been charged with preparing our children for the world beyond Presidio, Texas. You are the critical catalyst for providing them with the skills to overcome difficult challenges and achieve success.
Thank you for your excellence!
Santos l. Lujan
To the community of Marfa, thank you for visiting the performance installation Domina de Bardo created and directed by Saint Profanus, and supported by the Marfa Live Arts team and countless others. The artists worked tirelessly over the last year to accomplish this ambitious project and we were proud to share the artists’ realized vision with our community. Thank you to the Presidio County Courthouse and its generous employees for allowing an installation and performance to happen; we could not have done it without you.
Marfa Live Arts had over 260 visitors of locals and tourists come on Saturday, September 21 to experience Domina de Bardo by Saint Profanus. The free event also had over 60 visitors during An Encore: Domina de Bardo Remnants this past Friday, including a group of Marfa middle school students.
In countless ways, the following people working for Presidio County were instrumental in moving this project forward: Brenda Bentley (County Commissioner) and Chuck Simpson (Facilities Manager.) Tremendous gratitude to our cast and crew: Lily Aguero, Diff Torres, Belen Garcia, Tom Schmidt, Sauvignon Blanca, Angrette McCloskey, Deirdre Hisler, Kendall Weir, Moritz Landgrebe, Pat Keesey, Yoseff Ben-Yehuda, Brenden Cicoria, SunTek Chung, Ian Lewis, Evan Rimoldi, and Benjamin Beardwood. Special thanks to Sam Watts & Marfa Studio of Arts/SITES Program, Mac White, Jessica Lutz, Tina Rivera, Mary Williams, Marfa and Presidio County Museum, Ed Cobos & Marfa Nutrition Center, Christine Olejniczak, Alpine Crafts Market, Karen Crenshaw, Sam Schonzeit, Melvin McSpadden, Danny Watts, Ginger Griffice, Bridget Weiss, Tais Chanez and Dedie Taylor.
We want to share our gratitude to community members who helped make this possible. Thank you City of Marfa, The Rea Charitable Trust, Suzanne Deal Booth, Texas Commission on the Arts, Charlene Von Heyl, Tom Edens, Robert and Rosario Halpern, Laura Shell, and Emily Keeton. Education programs supported by Texas Women for the Arts. In-kind support provided by Ballroom Marfa, Do Your Thing Coffee, Chinati Foundation Education Department, Crowley Theater and Marfa Public Library.
Emma Rogers, Associate Director
JD DiFabbio, Deputy Director
Marfa Live Arts