March 18, 2020 527 PM
This is a scary and uncertain time for us all. While we don’t know what the future holds, we promise to you, our readers and our community, that we will continue to keep you informed throughout the duration of this pandemic to the best of our ability.
We believe the press is vital to the success of a democracy, and we believe our role is necessary in the dissemination of reliable, accurate information –– now more than ever.
Our staff is working around the clock to make sure you are getting the news you need to remain informed, and we could not be more grateful for their dedication. Please thank them the next time you see them.
We are updating our website as new information becomes available, and we’ve removed our paywall to make sure this information is available to all.
We hope all of you will act with the community’s best interests at heart. As you’ve been told time and time again: social distancing helps stop the spread. It is up to all of us to do our part.
We are in this together, and we will come out stronger.
Maisie Crow and Max Kabat
Owners of The Big Bend Sentinel
In a sign of the times, the Blackwell School Alliance canceled our April event last week. But not before we experienced a wonderful week of support: the City of Marfa awarded us a generous grant for our event (which we will now give back) and the Marfa Municipal Alliance of Dead Country and Folk Singers held a fundraising show at the Lost Horse for us (which we will re-route to our education program). Thank you to everyone for your kind words and actions, your talents, and your belief in our mission.
We will continue to work toward the goals of our Community Charrette in other ways, behind the scenes. And we can’t wait to host a party for the community when we come out the other side of this strange and stressful time.
And then there is the bigger picture of uncertainty and fear. This is an unprecedented situation, and it’s changing so fast. We are all doing our best to respond appropriately. I would invite us all to consider what skills we can offer the community to ease the anxiety: a central web-based message board? check-ins with neighbors? tech-based, faith-based, business-based solutions? We are community filled with idea people and doers. Let’s find ways to practice physical distancing while maintaining our social networks. Maybe it’s all in the works already, but I say: now is the time to get creative in all the ways we can take care of each other as the world seems crazy. If I can help you in any way, please call or text me at 432.295.3359.
For those who work and volunteer in service to our community, thank you.
Love and an elbow bump,
I am extraordinarily grateful to Sul Ross State University, Alpine ISD, Alpine Montessori School, Alpine Christian School, Fort Davis ISD, Marfa ISD, and other schools in the region for temporarily closing in response to the spread of coronavirus in Texas. These actions were a brave and proactive measure to protect our communities.
The 1918 flu epidemic taught us that closing schools before an epidemic spikes is one of the best ways to save many lives. Thank you to our school leaders for following this lesson of history. As coronavirus continues to spread rapidly across our state, I trust they will work closely with local medical experts to extend school closures if needed.
Closing schools comes with many complicated and difficult repercussions, so I appreciate how our local school and university leadership have navigated these challenging decisions as quickly as possible.
This pandemic is both a reminder and a test of our connectedness. I hope we pass this test by showing each other solidarity, support, and kindness. I urge everyone in our community to follow the lead of our schools in recognizing the seriousness of this viral threat and acting responsibly. By practicing social distancing, isolating ourselves when sick, limiting travel, and quarantining ourselves after trips, we can work together to protect our most vulnerable friends, family and neighbors.
The news unfolding around our country and world still seems very surreal. It is hard to react to a threat that feels so remote and impossible, especially when reacting requires sacrifice. But as we wait for coronavirus to hit our communities, remember what former U.S. secretary of health Michael Leavitt recently told Fox News: “Anything said in advance of a pandemic seems alarmist. After a pandemic begins, anything one has said or done is inadequate.”
Election corruption? The saga revolving around possible corruption in Brewster County’s recent early-voting in February continues, and it looks like it will take a lot of public pressure, and perhaps a civil rights attorney to get to the bottom of the Brewster County’s lack of cooperation; lack of transparency; failure to return my calls, texts and emails to the Brewster County Judge, Eleazar Cano; the lack of cooperation from Brewster County to provide the records that I have requested from the county, the issues around falsely addressed, pre-printed return envelopes to the county election administrator for application for mail-in ballots; the fact that a county elections administrator blamed the “Democrats” for the address error (for her failure to update contact information to the Texas Secretary of State’s office. The election workers, including the election administrator, mistreated disabled voters and even refused to help or allow one disabled voter to vote when she presented herself to cast her vote during the early voting period. I hope that your reporter Stephen Paulsen will continue to follow the messy politics of Brewster County. It seems to be getting very smelly in Brewster County!