October 31 Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

“Someone told a story of a village under a pointed hill, to which the villagers charged tourists climbing for the view. The villagers then blunted the point a little so that more tourists would come. That worked, so the villagers broadened the top some. That worked too. More tourists came. The villagers leveled the top some more. After a while, of course, no more tourists came because there was no hill and no view.”

Donald Judd, Una Stanza Per Panza, 1990, as quoted by Richard Ford in an article titled “Donald Judd, Wordsmith.”

Jack and Lisa Copeland

Marfa, TX


Dear Editor,

I moved to Alpine a little over 30 years ago. I fell in love with it the first time I saw it, and made a choice to uproot and come to a town where I didn’t know a soul. I felt strongly that this was the place for me, and I still feel that way.

My reasons to move and to stay here? It is the beauty, the climate, clean air, kind and welcoming people, sense of community, and the chance to experience nature first hand. I feel that it builds character to live in an isolated place, where you quickly learn that you can do without a lot of things you previously thought were essential. I think the same qualities attract other here as well, along with Sul Ross, with its world-class outdoor classrooms. It’s nice to breathe deep and see a beautiful sky, day or night. Its’s great to have state and national parks, just an hour or two away.

What Alpine is NOT is a place to get rich. Greedy folks should pass it by. It is NOT a place for the shopaholic. We do have great stores here, but there is no Walmart – thank goodness. It is NOT a place for the selfish, because it takes a village to live here. We have to look out for one another.

Remember when the citizenry pulled together to fight off a nuclear waste dump, water miners, low-level military training flights, and La Entrada? We also tried valiantly to stop the Trans Pecos pipeline, which is, of course, the cruelest joke ever played in our area.

Now, thanks to information from Amit Rangra and Mitch Smith, it looks like it is time to pull together once again to protect the community’s peaceful, picturesque environment. It sounds like the Solitaire mobile home manufacturer is looking to increase profitability by running trucks through Alpine to save themselves 15-20 miles of travel, at great expense to our town. As we have seen with Lajitas (Kelcy Warren) being able to pay TXDOT to move a highway, I’m sure Solitaire can pay to have a railroad bridge modified to suit them. This will make it even easier for La Entrada, or Motran (whatever you want to call it) to further expand causing Alpine and Marfa to lose what makes them so special.

San Angelo stands to profit from the use of the old railroad as well. Too bad for me, I guess, as I live just east of the tracks, and the dead grass is high and will burn easily It’s not like I have ever seen Texas-Pacifico mow it. Ever. Not to mention how bad the air will be with these old trains chugging through at 10 miles per hour. I am rooting for Van Horn to win this battle of the profiteers. Of course, now that they’ve sold water rights, they are in deep trouble, unable to even keep Border Patrol holding facilities open.

Thanks for listening. Ideas are welcome!

Catherine Crumpton

Alpine, TX


Dear Editor,

Last week most, if not all, households in State Senate District 19 received a flyer from District 19 Senator Peter Flores. While District 19 does not include Presidio or Ft. Davis counties, it’s important to remember that his votes affect all Texans.

In his flyer Flores brags about being the first Hispanic Republican senator in Texas history. But he does not mention his Republican colleagues’ efforts to make voting harder for eligible Hispanic and African-American Texans.

He touts over $200 million dollars allocated for a couple of hospitals in the San Antonio area (probably a good thing) but ignores the fact that his Republican colleague, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, is leading the national effort to abolish the Affordable Care Act which would throw some 20 million Americans off their health care, including hundreds of thousands of Texans.

He praises the $800 million for “Public Safety and Border Security” funding but does not mention how thousands of his Hispanic “cousins” are stuck in private for-profit prisons, some in horribly overcrowded cages, without adequate oversight. Nor, even after the shootings in El Paso and Odessa, does he mention any effort to address gun ownership or to implement a Red Flag law in Texas. If Flores really cared about public safety those two items would be at the top of his agenda.

He brags about sponsoring a bill that would eliminate $300,000 in annual upkeep costs of a building in San Antonio but fails to mention how the $37 billion in the “Business and Economic Development” section of the state budget is actually benefiting the average person in his district, except possibly through something called the County Transportation Infrastructure Fund, which has something to do with maintaining roads around the 24,000 oil and gas wells in the district.

Finally, he states “the Legislature allocated $79 million to the Alternatives to Abortion program, which promotes childbirth and provides support services to pregnant women and adoptive parents.” But he does not mention the decades-long efforts by his Republican colleagues to reduce or eliminate funding for poor or otherwise disadvantaged women who are more or less forced into having children they cannot support. So, according to Flores, some funding for “support services” (whatever that means) while pregnant is okay even if the benefits are questionable, and some funding for adoptive parents is okay, but after giving birth to unwanted children funding for the mothers, the women (and girls) who need help the most, is not okay. If Flores and his sidekicks really cared about “alternatives to abortion” they would make the morning after pill available to anyone who wants it.

In short, none of the items Flores is praising himself for are among the most important issues to the average resident of District 19. Keep that in mind when voting in 2020. We sure need someone better than what we’ve got.

Fred Gossien

Terlingua, TX


Dear Editor,

Boquillas and Beyond Mexico Missions, Inc. would like to thank Big Bend Coffee Roasters, Mando’s Resturant, Hotel Paisano, Livingston Ranch and Feed, Malinda Beeman, Rose Anderson Lewis, Riata Inn, Morrisons True Value, Moonlight Gemstones, McCoy’s Lumber, Lighthouse Unlimited Bookstore, Cactus Liquors, Food Shark, Larry Skiles, Al Campo, Bonita Barlow, Pizza Foundation, Albert Dominguez, and Chalo Diaz, for their contributions to our annual raffle/fund raiser. We would also like to thank Jon and Asse Johnson for hosting us at Planet Marfa. A big thank you to all that supports us with cash donations and raffle ticket purchases. The fund raiser was another big success. Our friends across the border know that our work is not possible without your help. With humble hearts they say Gracias, Gracias o Dios.

Rusty Nelson

Boquillas and Beyond Mexico Missions, Inc.